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King Icahn: The Biography of a Renegade Capitalist

Overview

In this dramatic, deal-by-deal portrait of legendary and, until now, secretive financier Carl Icahn, bestselling business writer Mark Stevens takes us behind the scenes of some of the biggest deals in U.S. corporate history: Icahn's multibillion dollar raid on Phillips Petroleum; his bold move on Texaco's hidebound management, which netted him $500 million in the largest single transaction ever recorded by the New York Stock Exchange; Icahn's prolonged battle with CEO David Roderick to break apart the once mighty...
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Overview

In this dramatic, deal-by-deal portrait of legendary and, until now, secretive financier Carl Icahn, bestselling business writer Mark Stevens takes us behind the scenes of some of the biggest deals in U.S. corporate history: Icahn's multibillion dollar raid on Phillips Petroleum; his bold move on Texaco's hidebound management, which netted him $500 million in the largest single transaction ever recorded by the New York Stock Exchange; Icahn's prolonged battle with CEO David Roderick to break apart the once mighty steel giant USX; and his stunning takeover of TWA. To write this fascinating book, Mark Stevens has utilized to the ultimate his incisive investigative skills and his extraordinary access to Icahn himself as well as Icahn's friends associates, adversaries, and critics - those who rode on his takeover bandwagon, and those who fell beneath its wheeling and dealing. The story he has to tell is that of a bookish boy from Bayswater who went to Princeton, studied philosophy, dropped out of medical school, landed as a minor player on Wall Street, and then had a billion-dollar epiphany - a means of "controlling the destiny of corporations" that would ultimately earn him his fortune. Along with the inside details of the deals that defined the high-flying eighties, Stevens provides a vivid, totally unauthorized profile of Icahn himself. At times deceptively disorganized and absentminded but a ruthlessly brilliant tactician when the chips are down, Icahn won his place at the pinnacle of capitalism by realizing that America's CEOs could be "persuaded" to spend millions in corporate funds or search for white knights to avert a takeover that might cost them their jobs. It was a plan of predatory genius; in the seventies and eighties Icahn garnered huge profits time after time - until he devoured TWA, and found that his ambitions were greater than his management talents. With his very fortune hanging in the balance, Icahn engaged in epic negotiations with the Pension
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
``One of the greatest things I did for the human race,'' Carl Icahn has said, ``was not to become a doctor.'' Instead, this Princeton graduate from Queens, N.Y., became a keen and stubborn corporate raider, who during the 1980s junk-bond delirium parlayed leveraged cash investments into partially controlling interests (and eventually very profitable sales of shares) in such companies as Phillips Petroleum, Dan River, Texaco and TWA. The other high-flyers--Ivan Boesky, T. Boone Pickens, Dennis Levine and Michael Milken--also appear here. In this unauthorized biography, based on research and on ``virtually unlimited access'' to the financier, Icahn emerges as a crafty but apparently straight player, to whom millions of dollars poured in yearly, until the U.S. Congress called a halt to junk-bond-financed leveraged buyouts in 1991. Like a taut novel, this page turner grips the reader as Stevens ( Sudden Death: E. F. Hutton ) dramatizes Icahn's financial gambles and acerbic treatment of top management figures, whom he often accuses of poor and despotic performance to the detriment of stockholders. (June)
Library Journal
Carl Icahn was one of the most infamous American corporate raiders of the 1980s. Born in an obscure middle-class New York community, he quickly developed a scrappy, street-fighter attitude that helped him get into and through Princeton, land a job on Wall Street, and go on to become one of the most feared antagonists of corporate America. The book shows repeatedly how Icahn bought up stakes in undervalued companies and then threatened their management until they caved into his demands, eventually allowing him to cash out with enormous profits. Only later in his life did he falter with the buyout of TWA and its ensuing bankruptcy. While Icahn's days as financial engineer may be over, there is no denying his impact upon the American corporate landscape, especially in the areas of shareholder rights and more active boards of directors willing to challenge business executives. This book by business writer Stevens is suitable for large nonfiction/biography collections in public libraries.-- Richard Drezen, Merrill Lynch Lib., New York
Barbara Jacobs
Carl Icahn is a name that symbolizes the end of an era. Stevens has drawn a realistic portrait of the once-feared corporate raider, beginning with his childhood in Bayswater, New York. All the figures that populated the financial headlines of the 1980s appear here, at least as walk-ons: Ivan Boesky, Frank Lorenzo, and Michael Milken, among others. But the chief character, of course, remains Icahn, who is characterized as a lifelong outsider. The author informatively tracks Icahn's various wheeling-and-dealing ploys, from dropping out of medical school to starting a brokerage firm, from his first raid Baird & Warner to, most probably, his last USX Industries. Glimpses of his personal life are included; in the end, though, it's hard to feel any sympathy for this major financial personage of the 1980s.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780525936138
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/28/1993
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 9.34 (w) x 6.28 (h) x 1.07 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark Stevens is a best-selling author, CEO of MSCO, a results-driven management and marketing firm and a popular media commentator on a host of business matters including marketing, branding, management and sales. He is known for delivering business insights with blunt truths and unconventional wisdom. Stevens' firm, MSCO, represents a stellar roster of clients including Nike, Starwood, GE, Guardian Life, Intrawest, Estee Lauder, The MONY Group, Environmental Systems Products, Virgin Air, and many others.

Through integrated marketing campaigns, MSCO focuses on achieving real results for its clients, instead of awards that serve egos. Mark Stevens possesses an innovative and iconoclastic view of the business world, having served as a journalist and nationally syndicated columnist and in management positions at several global corporations. His incisive understanding of critical business issues is geared toward achieving extraordinary growth and success for his clients. Stevens is an in-demand speaker at organizations from Wharton, Nike, and Oracle. A frequent guest commentator, he lends his insights and opinions on a wide variety of marketing/branding topics on Fox Business Network, Associated Press, CNN International and Bloomberg TV to CNBC, MSNBC, NPR and Bloomberg Radio on the annual subject of Super Bowl Advertising to Before You Tie the Knot: Tips on Creating a Successful Business Partnership (Wall Street Journal), Why Successful Business People Don't Sleep (The New York Times) and Be A Better Boss (Forbes.com). Steven's wildly successful blog, "Unconventional Thinking" is ranked among the "Top 10 Marketing Blogs in the World" by blogged.com. Stevens shook the marketing establishment with his Business Week bestseller, Your Marketing Sucks (Random House/Crown Business, 2003), and redefined the rules of management with Your Management Sucks (Random House/Crown Business, 2006). His most recent book, Your Company Sucks focuses on the Four Reasons ALL Companies Fail.

Stevens is the author of 25 business books including these bestsellers: The Big Eight; Your Marketing Sucks; Sudden Death: The Rise and Fall of EF Hutton (a Wall Street Journal bestseller and Library Journal "Business Book of the Year"). Books by Mark Stevens have been published in the USA, UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, China, Germany, Spain, Japan, Russia, and Brazil.

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