Clorox is "very undervalued," and given the current economic environment "it would be no problem for us to buy it," billionaire investor Carl Icahn told CNBC Friday.
"Being that said, wearing the shareholder's hat I don't think we'll get it," said Icahn, who already owns 9.4 precent of the company's stock.
Icahn offered to buy Clorox in a $10.2 billion deal, but also invited the household-products maker to hold a "go shop" sale.
The $76.50 per share all-cash bid represents an 11 percent premium to CLX's Thursday closing on the New York Stock Exchange.
"We have a lot of cash on hand at IEP [Icahn Enterprises] and personally in this environment you don't get much return on it," he explained. "This would be a great one for us to buy for IEP."
Putting Clorox up for sale is the right thing to do for shareholders, Icahn went on to say. "I'm willing to pay $76 and a half so you can't say, 'well, it's a stupid exercise because nobody wants the company.' There is a bid that shareholders can say yes or no to."
"I really think there'll be competing offers for this. That's my opinion looking at it," added Icahn.
In addition, Icahn acknowledged he talked with Don Knauss, the CEO of Clorox and "I think he really is sincere about saying he wants to do what's right for the shareholders."
"I have every belief that he [Knauss] will put this up for sale and leave it to the shareholders to decide," he concluded.
Top Clorox Shareholders:
- Icahn Associates Corp 9.4%
- State Street Global Advisors 5.2%
- T. Rowe Price Associates 5.1%
- BlackRock Institutional Trust Co. 4.6%
- Vanguard Group 3.9%
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