By Saurabh Chaturvedi

 

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn has filed a formal solicitation statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, taking another step in seeking to replace four directors at Occidental Petroleum Corp. (OXY), alleging the company's board mismanaged its $38 billion deal to buy Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (APC).

The statement filed on Thursday said: "The company's current directors have made a number of mistakes in how and at what cost they pursued the acquisition of Anadarko Petroleum Corporation." Mr. Icahn seeks to replace the directors and also make some changes to the company's by-laws.

The move to formally file the solicitation statement follows talks between the activist investor and Occidental Chief Executive Vicki Hollub over the issue.

Occidental topped Chevron Corp. in a bidding war for Anadarko in May, winning prized assets in the heart of the U.S. oil boom: the Permian Basin of West Texas and New Mexico. Occidental's emergence as the likely victor means it is poised to absorb a company nearly its own size as it bulks up in the region.

Chevron had agreed to purchase Anadarko for about $33 billion on April 12, but Occidental offered the oil company $38 billion on April 24 and then sealed its bid by boosting the cash portion of its offer. Occidental's deal with Anadarko is expected to close in the second half of 2019.

A number of large Occidental shareholders opposed the deal. Mr. Icahn, who holds $1.6 billion in Occidental shares, or nearly 5%, on June 26 filed a preliminary copy of the solicitation statement with the SEC.

Occidental didn't immediately respond to request for comment. The company had previously said that it looks forward to addressing Mr. Icahn's concerns. It had earlier also said the Anadarko deal offered "a unique opportunity to deliver compelling value and returns to the shareholders of both companies."

Anadarko also didn't immediately respond to request for comment.

 

Write to Saurabh Chaturvedi at saurabh.chaturvedi@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 19, 2019 02:22 ET (06:22 GMT)

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