Apple doesn't like Carl Icahn and the company will be trying everything to thwart the billionaire investor's proposal that the company spend a portion of its cash reserve to buy back shares worth $50 billion.
Apple has taken a clear stand against Icahn's proposal and is urging its shareholders to vote against the same. The proposal will be brought to vote on Feb. 28 at Apple's yearly shareholder meeting.
Icahn's buyback proposal is just one of the 11 proposals that will be discussed during Apple's shareholder meeting. However, it is one of the most important topics of debate.
Apple revealed its intention in a proxy statement filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The statement discusses about Icahn's proposal and states that Apple's board of directors is against the proposal. The company goes on to urge other shareholders to vote against the plan.
Icahn has been trying for quite some time now to prod Apple into increasing their buyback program for a while now and the proposal is simply the latest development in the ongoing struggle.
The billionaire first announced his intentions in October and in November, he tweeted that he'll be "making a precatory proposal to call for vote to increase buyback program."
Gave $AAPL notice we’ll be making a precatory proposal to call for vote to increase buyback program, although not at $150 billion level.
— Carl Icahn (@Carl_C_Icahn) December 4, 2013
While the proposal is said to be a "non-binding advisory resolution," the board of directors still stands against it. However, the board has also stated that while they do not support increasing the company's buyback program, they are still "fully committed to returning cash to shareholders," according to the proxy statement.
Further details on the board's stance can be seen below:
"The Board and management team are thoughtfully considering options for returning additional cash to shareholders and are currently seeking input from shareholders as part of the Company's regular review.
"The Company's success stems from the Company's unique ability to combine world-class skills in hardware, software and services to deliver innovative products that create new markets and delight hundreds of millions of customers. This success has created tremendous value for the Company's shareholders.
"With breakthrough products and services such as the Mac, iPod, iPhone, iPad and App Store, the Company has created huge market opportunities, and the Board and management team believe the opportunities that lie ahead are just as exciting. Given such large and global markets, the Company competes with large companies around the world, many with their own significant technical capabilities and significant capital. This dynamic competitive landscape and the Company's rapid pace of innovation require unprecedented investment, flexibility and access to resources.
"Successfully innovating and executing against these large opportunities also requires careful stewardship by the Board and management team, and the Company's evaluation of capital return is conducted in the context of supporting the Company's continued business success and desire to deliver attractive returns to long-term shareholders."