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Published: Thursday, 7/21/2011

Investor Icahn offers $80 a share for Clorox

Bleach-maker worth $10.7B, tycoon says


OAKLAND, Calif. -- Billionaire Carl Icahn topped his own bid Wednesday for Clorox Co., saying he would pay $10.7 billion for the household products maker.

The new bid amounts to $80 a share.

Mr. Icahn also said he is willing to put up $6.2 billion of his own money, citing the amount as evidence that he is making a serious offer to buy Clorox.

On Monday, the Clorox board of directors rejected his original offer of $76.50 a share, or $10.2 billion.

"Mr. Icahn's unsolicited proposal is neither credible nor adequate," Lead Director Gary Michael stated in a letter to Mr. Icahn on Monday. The board also stated in the letter that the bid "substantially undervalues" Clorox, of Oakland, Calif.

Mr. Icahn fired back Wednesday and criticized the performance of Clorox shares under the leadership of Chief Executive Donald Knauss.

"For Don Knauss and the rest of the board to claim our proposal remains inadequate and at the same time tout your record for shareholders seems a bit absurd," Mr. Icahn wrote in a letter that was disclosed in a regulatory filing Wednesday. "You claim 'to have a proven track record of delivering superior financial returns to our stockholders,' yet the evidence suggests otherwise."

Clorox shares rose 2.4 percent to $74.34 a share, still below the original and the new offers from Mr. Icahn. That suggests traders were skeptical that the offer would result in a sale.

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