Carl Icahn on Thursday blasted SandRidge Energy for adopting a strategy that the billionaire investor says is designed to quash dissent from shareholders opposed to the company's purchase of fellow driller Bonanza Creek.
"This makes a banana republic look good," he told CNBC's "Fast Money: Halftime Report."
In a letter to SandRidge on Thursday, Icahn called the nearly $750 million deal, announced Nov. 15, "dilutive, overpriced and value-destroying." He seconded the opinion of Fir Tree Partners as saying "the proposed acquisition of Bonanza makes no economic or strategic sense."
Icahn Associates, a closely followed activist investor, holds a 13.5 percent stake in SandRidge, making it the largest single shareholder. Icahn said he bought up shares of SandRidge earlier this month as the stock price fell nearly 20 percent on news of the Bonanza purchase.
On Monday, SandRidge's board of directors adopted a so-called shareholder rights plan that would block any individual or group from amassing a 10 percent stake in its common stock. It would also prevent big shareholders like Icahn from buying any more shares.
The strategy is what's called a poison pill, an action taken by a company to automatically block events like shareholder activism or a hostile takeover. Icahn called the move a "complete travesty" that "represents a new low in corporate governance."