Thursday, March 15, 2007

WCI and Icahn

According to Marketwatch, "Analysts are having a hard time putting a fair value on Florida-based tower and home builder WCI Communities Inc. in advance of an expected bid from financier Carl Icahn." That seems like a blinding flash of the obvious. Florida's real estate market is all fouled up and the current management of WCI got themselves into a bind by overbuilding. No one knows where the value of much of the land in Florida is going to wind up. Icahn has deep pockets and the patience to hold on to assets until he can get a good value for them, from what I've read. I don't plan on buying WCI, but this does seem like a case where the corporate raider will in fact put together a better deal for WCI shareholders than what the current management has to offer.

Apparently, I'm not the only one who thinks so: WCI Communities: Sandell Asset Supports Icahn's SaleSuggestion...Sandell said

"We support Carl Icahn's efforts to create change at WCI by nominating and electing an alternative slate of directors at the WCI annual meeting, and see his recent tender offer as a positive step in value maximization at WCI. The onus is clearly on WCI's management, board of directors and financial advisors at this point to step up their efforts to achieve the best possible result of the strategic review process. If that process does not yield a higher value, we encourage the board to work with Mr. Icahn toward a negotiated deal rather than attempt to hide behind the recently adopted poison pill. In the absence of a higher bid, the shareholders may have little choice in the decision of selling to Mr. Icahn or leaving the company in current management's hands and risking further value destruction"...

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