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O.C. BUSINESS PLUS

ICN Retracts Its Comments About Investor

April 17, 2001|MARC BALLON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

ICN Pharmaceuticals Inc., apparently under pressure by federal regulators, on Monday retracted disparaging statements made recently about the chairman of a dissident shareholders group.

The Costa Mesa drug maker said it was ordered by the Securities and Exchange Commission to retract its critical comments about Tito Tettamanti, chairman of Special Situations Partners.

ICN's initial statement earlier this month cited a Forbes magazine article that allegedly linked Tettamanti to kickbacks and insider trading.

In retracting the statement, ICN said it has no facts to support the accusations against Tettamanti, a Swiss investor.

Neither Special Situations nor Tettamanti could be reached for comment. The SEC would not comment.

Special Situations has a 4% stake in ICN. The Cayman Islands-based investor and other dissident shareholders submitted a slate of three directors in opposition to ICN's nominees to the board.

The dissidents say the company and its chairman, Milan Panic, have been moving too slowly to carry out a plan to split ICN into three independent units.

ICN shares closed Monday at $24.41, up 5 cents, on the New York Stock Exchange.

Dow Jones Newswires were used in compiling this report.

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