Icahn nominates 4 candidates to Forest Labs board

AP News
Posted: Jun 13, 2011 6:06 PM
Icahn nominates 4 candidates to Forest Labs board

Forest Laboratories Inc. said Monday a fund affiliated with billionaire investor Carl Icahn plans to nominate four directors to Forest's board.

The New York drugmaker said High River Limited Partnership, which owns a 6.5-percent stake in Forest, will nominate Alexander Denner, Richard Mulligan, Lucian Bebchuk, and Eric Ende to the board of directors. All nine of Forest's directors will be up for re-election at its annual meeting.

The company said it has not had a chance to meet with Icahn, but welcomes constructive input from shareholders.

Shares of Forest Labs rose 62 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $38.57. The stock has rallied 21 percent in the year to date, compared with a gain of just over 1 percent for the benchmark Standard & Poor's 500 index.

Forest's products include the depression and anxiety drug Lexapro, the Alzheimer's disease drug Namenda, and the fibromyalgia treatment Savella. The company paid $1.2 billion for Clinical Data Inc. earlier this year, gaining the company's new depression drug Viibryd.

Icahn owns stock in a variety of drug companies, including Biogen Idec Inc. Denner and Mulligan joined the board of Biogen Idec in 2009 after a proxy fight, and a third Icahn-backed nominee was added to the board in 2010. Denner was also elected to the board of Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc. in 2009 as part of a proxy contest in which Amylin's chairman and another key board member were replaced with nominees backed by Icahn and institutional investment firm Eastbourne Capital Management.