Investor Carl Icahn has agreed to sell his stake in Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. (NYSE: LGF) at a discount to yesterday’s closing price of $7.52. That announcement came shortly after Icahn also disclosed that he is willing to pay $10.3 billion for Clorox Co. (NYSE: CLX) if he should achieve the election of his own directors. But having now dumped Lions Gate and made another move to acquire Clorox, could there be something else that Icahn may want to drop from his portfolio?
In the Clorox deal, Icahn would like to initiate a competitive auction for Clorox with potential buyers like Proctor & Gamble Co. (NYSE: PG), Colgate-Palmolive Co. (NYSE: CL), Kimberley-Clark Corp. (NYSE: KMB), and Japanese giant Kao Corp. Clorox’s board has already rejected Icahn’s latest move, a so-called ‘back-stop’ offer which is predicated on Icahn’s success in replacing the 11 current directors. If he manages to do that, and is still unable to find a buyer for Clorox, Icahn will buy the company himself for $78/share in cash and debt. Clorox has not yet scheduled its 2011 annual meeting, putting off the vote Icahn seeks to replace the company’s directors.
Dumping Lions Gate acknowledges that Icahn doesn’t believe the company is worth all the headaches. Icahn has long argued that Lions Gate should get out of the production business and instead focus on distribution of independent films. Lions Gate has lost money in three of the last four quarters, proving Icahn’s point to some degree. The $7/share price that Icahn will take for the shares is approximately what he paid for them.
There are some other weak spots in Icahn’s portfolio. Dynegy Inc. (NYSE: DYN) has been stumbling due to weak natural gas prices. Icahn and Seneca Capital own the company, which is mostly high-priced debt. The problem here is whether or not there is a taker for Dynegy. It’s struggles with debt and low prices will continue.
Another possible dump would be Chesapeake Energy Corp. (NYSE: CHK), and not because the stock is a particularly bad performer. The natural gas giant is just too big, at a market cap of nearly $21 billion, for Icahn to have much influence without making another big purchase of Chesapeake’s stock. The offer for Clorox could also force Icahn to raise some cash, if the deals breaks Icahn’s way.
Icahn also holds about 19% (about 60 million) of outstanding shares in Motorola Mobility Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: MMI), which Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) has offered to pay $40/share for.
Icahn also owns about 25% of Mentor Graphics Corp. (NASDAQ: MNTR), a relatively small computer software maker with a market cap of just under $2 billion. The company doesn’t look to be on either a growth path or a decline path. Neither is particularly good for Icahn over the short term.
Lions Gate’s shares are down more than -5% in the pre-market this morning, at $7.13, in a 52-week range of $5.69-$7.84. Clorox shares are down fractionally in the pre-market, at $70.50, in a 52-week range of $60.56-$75.44.