Five Activist Hedge Fund Battles To Watch In 2015

Jan 20 2015 | 6:22am ET

Carl Icahn vs. “The World”

No activist investor churns the financial media waters like Carl Icahn these days. Icahn has attempted to implement major changes at Yahoo Inc., Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX), and most recently Family Dollar Stores, Inc. (NYSE: FDO)

While Ackman prefers to use presentations to make his case, Icahn uses the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal or picks up the phone to call CNBC whenever he feels there’s value to be added.

Last year, Icahn led a very public campaign on Apple’s Tim Cook to encourage a buyback program to boost share prices. Icahn still believes that Apple stock has a long way to go to reach fair value.

And in 2015, Icahn is picking up right where he left off. He reiterated his position that Apple is favorite stock for the year. He’s also calling for a major spinoff in one of America’s great equipment companies.

Icahn has amassed a 7.77% stake in Manitowoc Company Inc. (NYSE: MTW), a capital goods manufacturer in the crane and food service equipment categories. According to a filing with the SEC, Icahn invested $146.6 million, saying that shares are “undervalued” and suggesting the company should breakup. He has already hinted that he will speak to the company’s management and seek representation on the board if he deems it “appropriate.”

Rumors are also floating that Icahn is amassing a large position in micro-blogging giant Twitter Inc. (Nasdaq: TWTR). The possibility that Icahn pushes Twitter to sell to a large tech giant like Google Inc., Facebook Inc. or Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) remains a story to watch in 2015.

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