4 Times Carl Icahn Contradicted Himself On CNBC Monday

Carl Icahn gave a post-game report on last evening’s dinner with Apple CEO Tim Cook on CNBC this afternoon. It was…interesting.

Chip East / Reuters


Carl Icahn got dinner, and now he wants more. During a “cordial” meal with Apple CEO Tim Cook Monday night, the billionaire investor and corporate agitator pushed for a $150 billion buyback of Apple stock, on top of the $100 billion in buybacks and dividends that Cook announced already this year.

Not unlike other dinners with the CEOs of other companies he is agitating against, Icahn hosted Cook at his New York apartment for the meal. Icahn, whose Apple holding is reported to be $2 billion, went on CNBC Tuesday to discuss his dinner with Cook and his thoughts on what Apple should do with its substantial cash holdings. In classic Icahn fashion, he talked a lot, often out of both sides of his mouth.

Carl Icahn


Had a cordial dinner with Tim last night. We pushed hard for a 150 billion buyback. We decided to continue dialogue in about three weeks.

/ Via

“I’m not talking about any proxy fight.” “I think it’s fair to say that we have a lot of options, you know as well as anyone what those options are.”

Carl Icahn isn’t saying he’ll start a proxy fight for control over Apple’s board if Cook doesn’t up the buyback, but he’s also not saying that he won’t. Chip East / Reuters

“I enjoyed Tim’s company, it was very cordial.” “It got very slightly huffy.”

So everyone had a great time, until Ichan said he wouldn’t accept the board’s “business judgment” on whether or not to do a buyback. Michael Nagle / Getty Images

“You can’t be asking me to make threats on TV.” “I can promise you that I’m not going away before they hear a lot more from me concerning this.”

Some might say that having a famously vocal and strong-willed activist investor go on CNBC to say that a massive buyback is a “no brainer” and that the board denying it because of their “business judgment” is “complete bullt” is, in and of itself, a threat. Maybe. Mat Szwajkos / Getty Images

“I more or less said ‘I don’t give a damn what the board decided’ I didn’t say that, I want to take that back.”

Mat Szwajkos / Getty Images

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Matthew Zeitlin is a business reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. Zeitlin reports on Wall Street and big banks.
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