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Activist Investor Resigns From ICN

October 26, 2000|Bloomberg News

ICN Pharmaceuticals Inc. said that David Batchelder, an activist shareholder who joined the board last year, resigned as a director of the Costa Mesa drug maker, which has announced a new restructuring plan. Batchelder's firm, Relational Investors, buys stakes in troubled companies and seeks to turn them around. He joined ICN's board last year after his firm bought 1.6 million shares in the company, a 2% stake. Last week, ICN agreed to split itself into three independent companies, a restructuring that would greatly reduce the role of ICN's controversial chairman and chief executive, Milan Panic. Shareholders had been pushing for the changes, with one investor threatening a proxy fight at ICN's annual meeting in December. "In light of the revised restructuring plan . . . I am confident that management is on the right track toward increasing shareholder value," Batchelder said. He would not say whether Relational Investors plans to buy or sell ICN shares. ICN's stock closed at $37.81, up 69 cents a share, on the NYSE. The company's stock has increased more than 49% this year.

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