Icahn ups offer for Greenbrier buyout

Associated Press

LAKE OSWEGO, Ore. (AP) -- Activist investor Carl Icahn's American Railcar on Wednesday came back with a higher bid for railcar company Greenbrier, after Greenbrier rejected an earlier $488 million buyout offer.

In a letter to Greenbrier, Icahn Enterprises CEO Daniel Ninivaggi said the two firms have spent several weeks discussing strategic opportunities involving American Railcar and Greenbrier and it is time to bring that process to a conclusion. He said American Railcar is offering to acquire Greenbrier at $22 per share cash. The offer is good until Friday.

The Greenbrier Cos. Inc. said late Tuesday that a regulatory filing by Icahn included a conditional proposal to purchase the company for $20 per share. Greenbrier currently has about 27.1 million outstanding shares, according to FactSet. Counting the Greenbrier stake that Icahn already owns, Tuesday's offer was valued at about $488 million.

Greenbrier said its board felt that offer from Icahn grossly undervalued the company and was 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 disclosed in November that Icahn bought a 9.99 percent stake in the company. Icahn is known for buying into struggling companies and shaking them up, with mixed results. He holds a controlling stake in American Railcar Industries Inc., which he tried unsuccessfully to combine with Greenbrier in 2008.

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

Icahn Enterprises CEO Ninivaggi said Wednesday that American Railcar Industries Inc. has no interest in selling its business to Greenbrier at a "modest premium".

Greenbrier shares rose 24 cents to close at $20.61. American Railcar shares rose $1.64, or 4.8 percent, to close at $36.