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ICN Shareholder Urges Executive Changes

June 19, 1997|(Barbara Marsh)

ICN Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s largest shareholder, bridling over the Costa Mesa drug company's lackluster stock price, is stepping up the pressure for executive changes, including the eventual retirement of controversial Chairman Milan Panic. Last week, William J. Nasgovitz, president of Heartland Advisors, which owns nearly a 15% stake in ICN, sent a letter urging the company's board to force Panic, 67, to retire when he turns 70. Nasgovitz also had voted against four of the company's directors who stood for reelection at its annual meeting last month. ICN stock declined 12.5 cents to close at $22.675 in New York Stock Exchange trading. The board promised to take his suggestions "under advisement" but didn't elaborate. A source close to discussions between Nasgovitz and the company said directors seem receptive to his recommendations but that changes aren't likely soon. Nasgovitz couldn't be reached for comment.

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