ACTIVIST investor Carl Icahn has abandoned his proxy fight at Genzyme in return for the biotechnology company’s acceptance of two of his representatives to its board.
The agreement comes a week before the company’s annual meeting on 16 June.
Icahn had nominated himself and three allies to Genzyme’s board after a manufacturing
crisis lead to shortages of two of the company's life-saving drugs.
Genzyme has agreed to appoint two Icahn representatives – Dr. Steven Burakoff and Dr. Eric Ende -– and in return Icahn will withdraw his slate and vote his shares in favor of the company’s nominees.
“I think overall this is a positive,” said Michael Obuchowski, chief investment officer at First Empire Asset Management, which owns Genzyme’s shares and oversees nearly $4bn in assets.
“It avoids a continuing confrontation with Icahn and provides more oversight over the direction the company takes.”