Icahn: Yahoo Poison Pill 'Reprehensible'

But pricey severance plan kicks in if Icahn wins proxy fight, Yahoo says
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User
Posted Jun 11, 2008 9:52 AM CDT
Billionaire investor Carl Icahn is fighting a proxy contest to unseat Yahoo Inc.'s board.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)
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(Newser) – Billionaire investor Carl Icahn yesterday called Yahoo’s poison-pill severance plan, designed to deter hostile takeovers, “reprehensible,” the Wall Street Journal reports, but Yahoo said the measure would kick in if Icahn wins control of the board. "Now they found a way to entrench themselves forever," Icahn said, even as a shareholder group went to court to block the plan.

The plan—Icahn says it could cost $2.4 billion; Yahoo says $845 million is the ceiling—would pay employees terminated or forced out if there’s a change of control at Yahoo, and was put in place after Microsoft made an unsolicited bid for the search giant earlier this year. Experts say the plan—which would last 2 years after a change—isn’t unusual.