FirstEnergy says billionaire hedge fund manager Icahn intends to buy shares in the utility

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Jim Mackinnon   | Akron Beacon Journal

FirstEnergy Corp.’s latest earnings report — it made more than $1.1 billion in profit last year — took a back seat Thursday morning to executives explaining how they are making the Akron utility more open and focused on compliance as it deals with federal and state investigations over the $61 million Householder bribery scandal.

The utility also disclosed that billionaire investor and hedge fund manager Carl Icahn said in a Feb. 16 letter he and affiliates intend to buy significant shares in the company. Executives said they do not know if Icahn has bought any shares yet or what his intentions are regarding FirstEnergy.

Icahn, who is 85, has a background in hostile takeovers and proxy fights. One publication put his net worth at $16.7 billion in 2020, making him the 26th wealthiest American. He briefly served as an economic advisor in the Trump administration.

Company executives said they could not say any more about Icahn’s letter.

FirstEnergy shares rose strongly in early morning trading. Shares were up $2.02, or 6.3%, to $33.97 as of 9:50 a.m.

Jim Mackinnon covers business. He can be reached at 330-996-3544 or jmackinnon@thebeaconjournal.com. Follow him @JimMackinnonABJ on Twitter or www.facebook.com/JimMackinnonABJ.