Carl Icahn gives up proxy fight for San Diego DNA company


Activist investor Carl Icahn, who used a proxy fight to take control of Oklahoma City’s SandRidge Energy in 2018, wasn’t so successful in an attempt to take over DNA sequencing company Illumina Inc.

Bloomberg reports Icahn did not nominate directors for seats on the San Diego-based company’s board of directors before a deadline passed. He reportedly had considered nominating up to seven candidates at Illumina and was critical of the company management for its handing of a failed acquisition of cancer detection startup Grail Inc.

Icahn managed to place one of his nominees to Illumina’s board last year.

Just six years ago, Icahn managed a takeover of SandRidge Energy, an Oklahoma oil and gas company he reportedly wanted to sell but never did. He managed to place four of his seven nominees to the SandRidge Board of Directors while owning nearly 14% of the company.

Icahn had been critical of SandRidge management, contending executives were overpaid. Eventually, SandRidge’s former chief executive and finance chief were ousted from the company.