Breaking News
Get Actionable Insights with InvestingPro+: Start 7 Day FREE Trial Register here
Investing Pro 0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your Investing.com experience. Save up to 40% More details

Southwest Gas settles boardroom battle with Icahn, replaces CEO

Stock MarketsMay 06, 2022 09:50PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Billionaire activist-investor Carl Icahn gives an interview on Fox Business Network's Neil Cavuto show in New York, U.S. on February 11, 2014. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

By Svea Herbst-Bayliss

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Southwest Gas (NYSE:SWX) Holdings reached a settlement on Friday with Carl Icahn that will replace the company's chief executive and hand as many as four board seats to the billionaire investor.

The settlement ends a months-long battle Icahn launched with the Las Vegas, Nevada-based company in October as it pushed ahead with plans to buy Questar Pipelines for roughly $2 billion.

Southwest Gas said it promoted Karen Haller to CEO and president, replacing John Hester immediately. Icahn said in a statement that no settlement would have been reached without Hester leaving the company.

"We are confident that she is the right leader for Southwest Gas moving forward," board chairman Michael Melarkey said in a statement about Haller.

Icahn will be allowed to appoint at least three directors after next week's annual meeting. The company said a fourth director will join the board if the board decides not to spin off infrastructure services company Centuri, a decision the company announced in March.

Southwest Gas said it will make a decision about whether to spin off Centuri within 90 days of the agreement.

Icahn, saying the Questar purchase would hurt shareholders, had sought to take control of the board by trying to replace 10 directors and pushing for the ouster of the CEO. He called Hester and his management team "a great liability" to the company.

The board will have 11 directors, including 10 independent directors after the company's annual meeting on Thursday.

Icahn, 86, has spent a career tangling with companies and traditionally asks for a few board seats when he thinks businesses should be run better. He often settles with the company and then steps aside as his selected directors become involved in operations.

On Friday Icahn said in a statement that he has rarely felt the need to oust a CEO but that when such a move was necessary, it "almost always greatly enhanced value for ALL shareholders." Icahn even offered to buy the company for $82.50 a share.

Last month Southwest said it would consider selling itself, among other alternatives, after an unnamed potential buyer showed interest in buying the company at a price "well in excess" of Icahn's offer.

Southwest Gas settles boardroom battle with Icahn, replaces CEO
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email