News this week from Icahn Enterprises resembled an episode from HBO’s series, “Succession.” After an initial 15 years at the fund, followed by time away, and then more than two years of negotiations, Brett Icahn has officially agreed to ultimately succeed his father, Carl. “Icahn,” the hedge fund and name feared by many a CEO, will live on, bucking the tendency of eponymous business empires to fizzle out when the founder and personality of the place moves on. Under the plan, Brett will succeed his father in seven years or less and be required to invest some of his own money in each investment.
In other news, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed legislation that will require the boards of publicly traded companies headquartered in the state to have at least one director from an underrepresented group by the end of 2021. The new law also requires boards with four or more members to have at least two, and boards with at least nine members to have a minimum of three diverse directors by 2022. The legislation is the first of its kind and echoes growing calls from stakeholders to promote diversity in the boardroom. State Assemblyman Chris Holden, a co-author of the bill said, “This is an opportunity to get people of color at the table where the decisions are made.”
Lastly, The Deal explores the possibility that activists could soon set their sights on the year’s hottest equity capital markets story: SPACs (Special Purpose Acquisition Company). Signs point to the healthcare and financial services sectors as prime areas for consolidation, which means prime targets for SPACs, which means potentially prime turf for activists to lurk.
Have a good weekend,