Motorola's board vote could take weeks to verify

It could be several weeks before shareholders know if Carl Icahn, the billionaire investor, has won a seat on Motorola's board of directors, a company spokesman said.

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn may have to wait several days or even weeks to find out if he has won a seat on Motorola's board of directors.

Shareholders will vote on the new board of directors at the annual shareholder meeting Monday evening, but Paul Alfieri, a spokesman for the company, said Monday that the final vote may not be official for several days or weeks until an independent election inspector can verify the vote.

Icahn initiated a proxy fight to win one of Motorola's 13 board seats earlier this year. Icahn has said he believes that Motorola, the No. 2 handset maker behind Nokia, is undervalued. He is seeking a board seat to put pressure on the company in an effort to raise profits and the company's share price.

Motorola has urged shareholders not to vote for Icahn, saying he doesn?t have the time or expertise to be a good board member for the company.

The fight has intensified over the past couple of weeks as Icahn and Motorola each issue dueling letters, press releases and advertisements to try to persuade shareholders to take their side.

Many experts say the vote could be too close to call. One of the company's largest shareholders, ClearBridge Advisors, which owns 2.2 percent of Motorola's shares, is throwing support behind Icahn. But the California Public Employees' Retirement System, which also owns a significant stake in Motorola, is supporting the company's incumbent slate of directors.

Proxy advisors are also divided in their support. Institutional Shareholders Services and Proxy Governance, support Icahn. But another proxy advisory firm, Glass Lewis, has urged shareholders not to vote for Icahn, because, it says, Icahn has failed to detail a specific plan for the company.

 

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