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Icahn seeks seat on Clorox board

August 19, 2011

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn will seek to install himself and 10 other directors on Clorox' board after the consumer products maker twice rejected his offer to buy the company.

In a filing with the SEC on Friday Icahn said he will nominate himself and 10 other directors to Clorox' 11-member board.

Icahn, Clorox's biggest shareholder, has offered twice since mid-July to buy the company, first at $76.50 per share and then at $80 per share -- or about $10.7 billion. The company has rejected both offers and Clorox CEO Don Knauss said earlier this month that Icahn's bids were not credible and undervalued the company.

Icahn has criticized the company's performance and suggested that it accept his bid, shop for competitive offers or take his higher bid to shareholders for a decision.

"We believe that Icahn is nominating candidates solely to advance his own agenda," Clorox said in a statement. "Clorox will review Mr. Icahn's nominations to ensure they comply with the company's governing documents and applicable law."

Clorox added that its current board of directors is acting in the best interests of all Clorox stockholders.

Earlier this month, Clorox said its fourth-quarter net income fell 1 percent to $169 million, or $1.29 per share, as it spent more on advertising. It still beat most Wall Street expectations on both profit and revenue

Clorox, based in Oakland, California, was formed 98 years ago by five entrepreneurs selling what became the company's namesake bleach. The company has expanded its product line to include goods such as Burt's Bees lip balm, Glad trash bags, Brita water filters and an eclectic mix of other household products.

Like its peers, Clorox is facing higher prices for materials it needs to make and transport its products, and it also has to persuade customers to keep buying as they get squeezed by higher gas and grocery prices.

Icahn is known for buying and shaking up struggling companies, with mixed success. His other holdings at the end of the first quarter included drug maker Biogen Idec Inc., movie studio Lions Gate Entertainment Corp., Motorola Solutions Inc. and power producer Dynegy Inc., according to a May 16 regulatory filing.

Clorox shares rose $1.10 to $65.2 in morning trading.

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