Greenbrier turns down $488M Icahn buyout offer

Associated Press

LAKE OSWEGO, Ore. (AP) -- Railcar company Greenbrier is turning down an approximately $488 million buyout offer from billionaire investor Carl Icahn, deeming it too low.

Greenbrier disclosed in November that Icahn had purchased a 9.99 percent stake in the company.

Icahn is known for buying into struggling companies and shaking them up, with mixed results. He also holds a controlling stake in American Railcar Industries Inc., which he tried to combine with Greenbrier in 2008. Talks surrounding that potential deal ended because of "unresolved issues."

Greenbrier Cos. said late Tuesday that a regulatory filing by Icahn included a conditional proposal to purchase the company for $20 per share in cash. Greenbrier said that in prior talks with Icahn, the potential proposed bid was between $20 and $22 per share.

Greenbrier currently has about 27.1 million outstanding shares, according to FactSet. Taking into account the Greenbrier stake that Icahn already owns, the proposed acquisition offer is valued at about $488 million.

The offer is slightly lower than the $20.37 that the company's stock closed at on Tuesday, but above the closing of $18.97 Monday, before the offer was disclosed.

Greenbrier said its board felt that Icahn's offer grossly undervalues the company and is not in shareholders' best interests.

And while Icahn may still have plans to potentially combine Greenbrier with American Railcar, Greenbrier feels it could conduct its own transaction.

Greenbrier said it has repeatedly told Icahn it is interested in buying American Railcar and that such a deal could create substantial savings and benefit shareholders.

Greenbrier, which is based in Lake Oswego, Ore., said its board is still willing to continue talks with Icahn and consider a potential American Railcar acquisition.