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Icahn seeks Motorola board seat

Tue, 01/30/2007 - 6:41am

SCHAUMBURG, Ill. (AP) -- Billionaire investor Carl C. Icahn told Motorola Inc. he hopes to be elected to one of 13 seats on the cell-phone maker's board of directors, company officials said Tuesday. Motorola shares rose more than 6 percent in morning trading on the disclosure.

Paul Alfieri, a company spokesman, said Icahn filed a nomination notice with the Schaumburg-based company on Monday. He declined to say how long Icahn had owned Motorola stock.

All 13 seats will be up for re-election during the company's 2007 annual meeting, which has not yet been scheduled. Board members serve year-long terms.

Icahn and his entities own 33.5 million shares of Motorola - roughly 1.4 percent of the company's outstanding shares.

Icahn has taken stakes in a number of companies in recent years, pushing for changes that he said would boost the share prices or otherwise create more value for shareholders.

Last year, for example, the financier urged Time Warner Inc. to sell its cable assets and repurchase $20 billion in shares to ''unlock'' value for shareholders. CEO Richard Parsons initially rebuffed Icahn, but eventually boosted the company's buyback program.

Icahn, who has a net worth near $10 billion, was ranked 24th on Forbes' most recent list of the wealthiest Americans.

Tuesday's announcement comes as the world's No. 2 cell phone maker cuts 3,500 jobs and takes other steps to reduce costs after misjudgments on pricing and sales forecasts for its high-end phones contributed to its least profitable quarter since 2004.

Motorola said it is reviewing Icahn's nomination.

Motorola shares climbed $1.17, or 6.4 percent, to $19.48 in morning trading Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange. They have traded in a 52-week range of $17.90 to $26.30.

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