Tech Industry

Icahn beats Apple buyback drum (again) with new proposal

The investor files a "precatory proposal" to Apple calling for shareholders to vote on the terms of its buyback program.

James Martin/CNET
Billionaire investor Carl Icahn made his latest move in trying to get Apple to increase its stock buyback program.

On Wednesday, he tweeted that he would make a "precatory proposal" to Apple that calls for an increase in the buyback program to be voted on by shareholders at the company's next annual meeting. Since it's a precatory proposal, even if Apple shareholders approve the measure, the company would not be bound to the decision.

Ichan has been pushing Apple to increase the amount of money it is spending to buy back shares of its own stock, which in turn would drive up the price of Apple stock and increase the value of Icahn and other Apple investors holdings. Icahn noted in his tweet that this new proposal calls for far less than the $150 billion stock buyback he'd previously requested.

According to Time, Icahn gave Apple notice on November 26, three days before the company's deadline for measures to be voted on at the Apple's next shareholder meeting.

Apple confirmed to Time that Icahn had filed the precatory proposal, and responded as such:

"Earlier this year we more than doubled our capital return program to $100 billion, including the largest share repurchase authorization in history. As part of our regular review process, we are once again actively seeking our shareholders' input on our program, and as we said in October, the management team and our board are engaged in an ongoing discussion about it which is thoughtful and deliberate. We will announce any changes to our current program in the first part of calendar 2014."
Apple did not immediately respond to a separate request for comment from CNET. We'll update this post if we hear back.

Icahn has been at this for a while. The investor has previously met with Apple CEO Tim Cook over dinner to discuss the program, and in October, he posted an open letter to Cook about the topic on his Web site, Shareholders' Square Table.