Now there’s a call for an investor with deep pockets to be given a seat on Apple’s board of directors (BoD). What do you suppose that seat would cost? And what does it do for Apple?
Raiders Of The Lost Apple
With apologies to Steven Spielberg and Indiana Jones, Apple’s undervalued stock price has attracted a corporate raider, a Wall Street shark known for gutting companies to make money.
Yes, friends, Carl ‘I made a bundle stripping TWA to nothing‘ Icahn is after Apple. The prize? Apple’s hilariously undervalued stock price, and obscenely huge bank account.
Icahn has little to no interest in Apple’s future, Apple’s history, or the much loved products the company provides to a few hundred million customers each year.
Indeed, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs might be dead, but if ever there was a time ripe for a full-fledged, public resurrection, it is now.
Icahn says Apple is undervalued and he’s pitched a tent and made a stake in AAPL. What does Icahn want? What Icahn always wants. More money for Icahn.
Even after taking on debt to finance shareholder dividends and avoid repatriating taxes, Apple has plenty of money sitting in the bank and Carl Icahn wants some of it.
The Scary History
Reading a history of Apple’s newest and most public investor is scary. Icahn is a rabble rouser of the highest corporate order who buys into companies and bullies executive management to do his will, either raising a sword to slice and dice, or threatening to do so with publicly visible saber rattling.
None other than soothsayer and snake oil salesman Jim Cramer says Apple should put Icahn on the board of directors.
What could possibly go wrong with that idea?
How is it that Icahn could do anything good for Apple? The stock, maybe, but only in the short term as he pumps it up, sucks out a huge profit, and leaves the broken and brittle shell of one of America’s great corporate legends.
Can Icahn help Apple to innovate faster? No.
One of the differences between famous investor Warren Buffet and Icahn is that the former buys into companies to increase their value, while Icahn buys into companies to increase his profits.
In short order, what has Icahn done? He invested a ‘large stake’ in Apple, declared the stock undervalued, and publicly pressured Tim Cook to give away even more money to investors.
Hello? How self-serving is that?
What Apple truly needs in the Cook era are board members who can help the company continue on the path to wealth and prosperity, not board members like Icahn who help themselves to Apple’s wealth.
If Icahn succeeds in obtaining a seat on Apple’s board of directors, and wields influence that increases his profits to the detriment of Apple’s ability to develop and market the products we love, then Apple truly is doomed.
Apple’s market value is about $450-billion, having gained $100-billion in a few weeks. It’s been reported that Icahn invested about $1-billion in Apple stock. In what world does .22-percent of a company’s market value entitle a corporate raider to attack a prosperous American institution for his own aggrandizement?
It could happen in a world without Steve Jobs.