Apple and Carl Icahn the activist investor seem to be headed toward a big showdown with the creator of iPad and iPhone urging shareholders to vote against the activist investor proposal of committing a minimum of $50 billion worth of a stock buyback.
Icahn Partners and High River Limited made the proposal, and it will go to a vote at the annual shareholders meeting next year on February 28.
In recommending a vote against the proposal, the Board at Apple as well as its management team said they now are thoughtfully considering all options for returning cash to their shareholders. At this time, they also said they seek input from all shareholders as part of the regular review of the company.
The board and company’s management team demonstrated a commitment to returning cash to shareholders over the last two years. In March of 2012, Apple announced a new quarterly dividend and repurchase program for shares that totaled over $45 billion.
In April of 2013, the Board doubled the program’s size to $100 billion and increased the authorization to $60 billion for the share buyback.
Apple’s board said it has aggressively executed against the capital return program, spending over $23 billion of the share repurchase authorization of $60 billion in just fiscal 2013.
The company statement said that capital should go back to shareholders but in a sustained and efficient basis, and that the evaluation of returning capital to shareholders should take place carefully and regularly with the best interest over the long term of both the shareholders and the business in mind.
In early 2013, Icahn often referred to buy the moniker “Corporate Raider.” was involved with Michael Dell in a bitter dispute. Dell, the founder of Dell Computer battled with Icahn over taking the company private.
Icahn this past September ended his efforts of many months to block the $25 billion offer by Dell, which made way for the business, founded back in 1984 to become private once again.
Apple has recently joined forces with China’s largest mobile phone network, in an attempt to increase its share in the mobile phone market in China, the world’s largest market.
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