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Forest Labs: Icahn Nominates Four To Board, Holds 6.5% Stake

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES Forest Laboratories Inc. (FRX) said it received notice that one of billionaire activist investor Carl C. Icahn's affiliates intends to nominate four candidates for Forest's nine-member board. "While we have not yet had a chance to meet with Mr. Icahn to discuss his ideas for the company, we welcome constructive input from all of our shareholders," said Chairman and Chief Executive Howard Solomon. All of the directors are up for re-election and the pharmaceutical company said its nominating and governance committee will evaluate the nominees and make a recommendation. Icahn is well known for his efforts to push for change in boardrooms. Some of his more recent targets include Mentor Graphics Corp. (MENT) and Dynegy Inc. (DYN). High River L.P.'s slate includes Alexander J. Denner, a managing director of entities that advise Icahn-managed hedge funds; Dr. Richard Mulligan of the Harvard Medical School; Lucian A. Bebchuk, professor of law, economics, and finance and director of the program on corporate governance at Harvard Law School; and Dr. Eric J. Ende. High River also informed Forest Labs that it and affiliated entities own about 6.5% of the company's stock outstanding. Forest Labs made headlines in late April when it was reported the Department of Health and Human Services intended to exclude Solomon from doing business with the federal government, which could prevent Forest Labs from selling its drugs to the government--a major customer of all drug companies. Like many drug makers, Forest Labs has sought to partner with drug developers to bolster its pipeline. The company recently completed its $1.2 billion acquisition of Clinical Data Inc. (CLDA) in a bet that antidepressant Viibryd can help offset the looming loss of patent protection for Forest Lab's Lexapro, a depression treatment and its main money maker, and Alzheimer's drug Namenda. The company also reported in April its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings soared, absent prior-year licensing costs, as revenue rose 7.8%. Shares closed at $37.95 Friday and were inactive premarket. The stock has risen 47% over the past year. -By Melodie Warner, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2283;

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