(Reuters) - Billionaire investor Carl Icahn abandoned his quest to take over the board of Clorox Co (CLX.N) on Friday, saying he lacked support from other major investors, sending its shares down almost 5 percent in extended trading.
Icahn, Clorox’s biggest shareholder, last month nominated himself, his son and nine other people for election to the board at the company’s next annual shareholder meeting.
That move came after Clorox directors twice rejected his earlier offers to buy the company.
“Several large shareholders may believe that now is not the best time to run that process, given the deteriorating conditions of the financial markets,” Icahn said in a regulatory filing on Friday.
Beyond that, he said, Clorox’s view is that Icahn’s offer of $80 per share “substantially undervalues” the company.
Nevertheless, Icahn said he continues to believe that a sale is the best way to maximize shareholder value.
Icahn kicked off his proxy fight at Clorox on Aug 19, the day after he lost a battle to get board seats at another target, prescription drug maker Forest Laboratories FRX.N.
The corporate raider-turned-activist, who is known to take on battles at several companies at the same time, lately has been no stranger to disappointment.
On August 30 he dumped his stake in Lions Gate Entertainment Corp LGF.N, giving up on a lengthy battle for control of the film studio and producer of the television hit ”Mad Men.
Shares in Clorox fell 4.9 percent to $66 in extended trading on Friday.
Reporting by Phil Wahba in New York and Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles; Editing by Andre Grenon