Renowned billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn has launched a securities class and derivative action against Illumina Inc. and its board of directors, accusing them of violating their fiduciary responsibilities towards stockholders. This move follows Icahn’s extensive campaign opposing Illumina’s $8 billion reacquisition of cancer testing firm Grail Inc.
While the complaint filed in Delaware’s Chancery Court by Icahn’s firm, Icahn Partners LP, remains unavailable as of Tuesday, his attorneys revealed in a public supplement that there was “good cause” for the suit to be assigned to a chancellor or vice chancellor rather than a magistrate in chancery. The legal action is on behalf of Illumina and all its stockholders.
Icahn initiated a proxy battle in March to challenge Illumina’s decision to repurchase Grail. He publicly criticized this decision as “ill-advised” and “frankly inexplicable.”
In a statement shared with Law360, Icahn expressed that throughout his career as an activist, he has never had to resort to suing a board of directors in this manner. He took this step due to the board’s “unconscionable and egregious actions” related to the Grail acquisition, which occurred without regulatory approval, potentially putting Illumina at risk.