In 2004 Carl Icahn and Bill Ackman worked out a deal, or at least they thought they did. Icahn would buy Ackman’s Hallwood Realty, but if Icahn sold his shares of Hallwood, they were supposed to split the profit. (Icahn was to get the first 10% of the profit entirely, and everything above that they would split.)
Later in 2004, Hallwood merged with another company. The valuation of Hallwood for the purposes of the merger was $137. So Ackman thought he was entitled to some money, but as The NewYork Times reports, Icahn told Ackman “that a merger did not constitute a sale of shares.”
By the end of 2004, the lawyers had their meters going for both of them. Last month Icahn’s final appeal was turned down and Ackman got paid almost $9 million. Yes that’s million, with an M. Moneywise this was not a big deal for either of these billionaires. It was a pissing match, pure and simple.
The bad feelings and insults haven’t stopped. According to The Times, Ackman called Ichan “a shakedown artist” and he said that Icahn’s “word was worthless”.
Not to be outdone, the Times reports that Icahn had this to say about Ackman.
“He started to lecture me,” Mr. Icahn says of Mr. Ackman. “And I said, ‘I’ve been in this business for 50 years, and I’ve done O.K. without your advice.’ ”