Calpers to Icahn: Hands Off Apple’s Cash
The California Public Employees’ Retirement System, or Calpers, became the latest major Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) investor to criticize Carl Icahn’s efforts to expand the Cupertino-based company’s share buyback program, reports Bloomberg. Calpers is the largest public pension fund in the U.S. and it held 2.4 million shares of Apple stock at the end of the third quarter of this year.
“We are uncomfortable with a raider coming into a company with a proposal to disgorge cash,” Calpers’ head of corporate governance Anne Simpson told Bloomberg. “Carl Icahn is a Johnny come lately.”
Icahn has been pressuring Apple to expand its share buyback program since August of this year. In an open letter to CEO Tim Cook in October, Icahn argued for a $150 billion share buyback that could be funded by borrowing funds at a 3 percent interest rate. More recently the activist investor tweeted that, “Gave $AAPL notice we’ll be making a precatory proposal to call for vote to increase buyback program, although not at $150 billion level.” According to CNBC, Icahn’s most recent proposal is for a $50 billion share buyback.