Carl Icahn is "strongly against" the pending acquisition that would take AmTrust Financial Services Inc. private.
The transaction announced March 1 would see Evergreen Parent LP, an entity formed by private equity funds managed by Stone Point Capital LLC, together with CEO Barry Zyskind, George Karfunkel and Leah Karfunkel, acquire about 45% of AmTrust's common shares that the Karfunkel/Zyskind families and certain of its affiliates and related parties do not currently own or control.
In a letter to the AmTrust board, Icahn called the transaction "opportunistic," writing that the Karfunkel/Zyskind families are "blatantly taking advantage of AmTrust's minority shareholders." He claims that the board failed to timely inform shareholders or the market that they set April 5 as the record date for determining shareholders who will be entitled to vote at the special meeting relating to the transaction.
Icahn asked the board to change the record date and special meeting date to avoid disadvantaging shareholders who acquired their shares after April 5 and before the public announcement of the record and meeting dates.
He informed the board that he plans to solicit proxies against the proposed transaction. He also urged the company's shareholders to vote against the go-private deal.
Icahn wrote that he is one of AmTrust's largest shareholders, with a 9.38% ownership stake in the company.
AmTrust did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the matter.