Icahn's Illuminating Idea

Icahn's Illuminating Idea

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  • Carl Icahn issued a strong call for Illumina (ILMN) to welcome back its former CEO without delay, signaling his intent to initiate a proxy battle with the biotech firm. Icahn, who has a 1.4% stake in the company, was scathing in his assessment of its current leadership, accusing them of a costly misstep in the 2021 acquisition of cancer test developer Grail.
  • Icahn has been advocating for Illumina to scrap the “catastrophic” transaction, which he believes caused a loss of $50 billion in the company’s worth. He asserted to the Journal that Illumina can’t manage to sustain Grail in the current financial climate. Icahn is particularly unhappy about Illumina's decision to close the Grail deal without the approval of antitrust regulators. 

Why it matters

In September, Illumina was triumphant over the FTC’s objection to the arrangement, yet is still striving for affirmation from the European Commission, the European Union’s governing body. The European Commission last year prohibited Illumina's acquisition of Grail due to worries that it would suppress innovation and limit consumers' options. Furthermore, the commission revealed the specifics of a proposed mandate that would require Illumina to reverse its purchase.


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