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Icahn Pens Yet Another Letter in Southwest Gas Fight

Guru responds to management letter

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Apr 26, 2022
Summary
  • Activist investor believes the stock will suffer if changes are not made to the board.
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Sunny Isles Beach, Florida, April 26, 2022 — Today, Carl C. Icahn released the following open letter to the stockholders of Southwest Gas Holdings Inc. (

SWX, Financial).

April 26, 2022

Dear Fellow SWX Stockholders:

On April 25th, SWX’s incumbent directors once again tried to obfuscate the issues by publishing a letter in which they attempt to convince stockholders that they will actually try to sell the company. It reminds me of a poem I learned in the cub scouts:

“Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.”

We suspect that SWX’s high-priced lawyers forced the incumbent directors to clarify that one potential outcome of the strategic alternatives “process” (and we believe the only one) would be only the already-announced spin-off of Centuri:

“The alternatives include a sale of the Company, or a separate sale of its business units, or our previously announced plan to spin-off Centuri.”

Even the company’s own lawyers must already know that the strategic alternatives “process” will end up with CEO John Hester and his incumbent board of directors almost certainly back to business as usual! We don’t blame the lawyers. How can stockholders trust CEO John Hester and the incumbent directors (who overpaid by at least $300 million for a non-synergistic asset simply in order to entrench themselves) to now make a 180-degree turn and embark on a process to sell the whole company?! Additionally, this is the same company that also issued $400 million of stock at $71.50 per share to a chosen few, turning down $82.50 per share, thus destroying $70 million of value for SWX stockholders in one afternoon.

Even if you take the leap of faith that SWX management will be able to sign an initial deal, they will still need to make it through the myriad of regulatory approvals in the 1.5 years (or more) before the transaction can close. Whether through active decision making or through incompetence long displayed in SWX’s operational, financial and regulatory track record, SWX will have numerous chances to back out of any deal (and go back to business as usual).

We strongly believe that if there is no majority change of control at SWX’s board, the stock price will be back to where it was trading when we first entered the scene, the mid $60s.

Sincerely yours,

Carl C. Icahn

______________________________________

Additional Information and Where to Find It;

Participants in the Solicitation and Notice to Investors

THE SOLICITATION DISCUSSED HEREIN RELATES TO THE SOLICITATION OF PROXIES FOR USE AT THE 2022 ANNUAL MEETING OF STOCKHOLDERS OF SOUTHWEST GAS HOLDINGS, INC. CARL C. ICAHN AND HIS AFFILIATES HAVE FILED WITH THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION, AND MAILED TO THE STOCKHOLDERS OF SOUTHWEST GAS HOLDINGS, INC. A DEFINITIVE PROXY STATEMENT AND A GOLD PROXY CARD IN CONNECTION WITH THEIR SOLICITATION OF PROXIES FOR USE AT THE 2022 ANNUAL MEETING OF STOCKHOLDERS OF SOUTHWEST GAS HOLDINGS, INC. STOCKHOLDERS OF SOUTHWEST GAS HOLDINGS, INC. ARE ADVISED TO READ THE PROXY STATEMENT AND RELATED MATERIALS CAREFULLY, AND IN THEIR ENTIRETY, BECAUSE THEY CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION, INCLUDING INFORMATION RELATED TO THE PARTICIPANTS IN SUCH PROXY SOLICITATION.

COPIES OF THE DEFINITIVE PROXY STATEMENT AND GOLD PROXY CARD ARE AVAILABLE AT NO CHARGE AT THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION’S WEBSITE AT HTTP://WWW.SEC.GOV. INFORMATION RELATING TO THE PARTICIPANTS IN SUCH PROXY SOLICITATION IS CONTAINED IN THE SCHEDULE 14A FILED BY CARL C. ICAHN AND HIS AFFILIATES WITH THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION ON MARCH 28, 2022.

THIS COMMUNICATION IS FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND IS NOT A RECOMMENDATION, AN OFFER TO PURCHASE OR A SOLICITATION OF AN OFFER TO SELL SHARES. IEP UTILITY HOLDINGS LLC, AN AFFILIATE OF ICAHN ENTERPRISES, FILED A TENDER OFFER STATEMENT AND RELATED EXHIBITS WITH THE SEC ON OCTOBER 27, 2021. SOUTHWEST GAS FILED A SOLICITATION/ RECOMMENDATION STATEMENT WITH RESPECT TO THE TENDER OFFER WITH THE SEC ON NOVEMBER 9, 2021. STOCKHOLDERS OF SOUTHWEST GAS ARE STRONGLY ADVISED TO READ THE TENDER OFFER STATEMENT (INCLUDING THE RELATED EXHIBITS) AND THE SOLICITATION/RECOMMENDATION STATEMENT, AS THEY MAY BE AMENDED FROM TIME TO TIME, BECAUSE THEY CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION THAT STOCKHOLDERS SHOULD CONSIDER BEFORE MAKING ANY DECISION REGARDING TENDERING THEIR SHARES. THE TENDER OFFER STATEMENT (INCLUDING THE RELATED EXHIBITS) AND THE SOLICITATION/RECOMMENDATION STATEMENT ARE AVAILABLE AT NO CHARGE ON THE SEC’S WEBSITE AT WWW.SEC.GOV. THE TENDER OFFER STATEMENT AND OTHER DOCUMENTS THAT ARE FILED BY IEP UTLITY HOLDINGS LLC WITH THE SEC WILL BE MADE AVAILABLE TO ALL STOCKHOLDERS OF SOUTHWEST GAS FREE OF CHARGE UPON REQUEST TO THE INFORMATION AGENT FOR THE TENDER OFFER. THE INFORMATION AGENT FOR THE TENDER OFFER IS HARKINS KOVLER, LLC, 3 COLUMBUS CIRCLE, 15TH FLOOR, NEW YORK, NY 10019, TOLL-FREE TELEPHONE: +1 (800) 326-5997, EMAIL: [email protected].

Other Important Disclosure Information

SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING THIS LETTER:

THIS LETTER CONTAINS OUR CURRENT VIEWS ON THE VALUE OF SOUTHWEST GAS SECURITIES AND CERTAIN ACTIONS THAT SOUTHWEST GAS’ BOARD MAY TAKE TO ENHANCE THE VALUE OF ITS SECURITIES. OUR VIEWS ARE BASED ON OUR OWN ANALYSIS OF PUBLICLY AVAILABLE INFORMATION AND ASSUMPTIONS WE BELIEVE TO BE REASONABLE. THERE CAN BE NO ASSURANCE THAT THE INFORMATION WE CONSIDERED AND ANALYZED IS ACCURATE OR COMPLETE. SIMILARLY, THERE CAN BE NO ASSURANCE THAT OUR ASSUMPTIONS ARE CORRECT. SOUTHWEST GAS’ PERFORMANCE AND RESULTS MAY DIFFER MATERIALLY FROM OUR ASSUMPTIONS AND ANALYSIS.

WE HAVE NOT SOUGHT, NOR HAVE WE RECEIVED, PERMISSION FROM ANY THIRD-PARTY TO INCLUDE THEIR INFORMATION IN THIS LETTER. ANY SUCH INFORMATION SHOULD NOT BE VIEWED AS INDICATING THE SUPPORT OF SUCH THIRD PARTY FOR THE VIEWS EXPRESSED HEREIN.

OUR VIEWS AND OUR HOLDINGS COULD CHANGE AT ANY TIME. WE MAY SELL ANY OR ALL OF OUR HOLDINGS OR INCREASE OUR HOLDINGS BY PURCHASING ADDITIONAL SECURITIES. WE MAY TAKE ANY OF THESE OR OTHER ACTIONS REGARDING SOUTHWEST GAS WITHOUT UPDATING THIS LETTER OR PROVIDING ANY NOTICE WHATSOEVER OF ANY SUCH CHANGES (EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE REQUIRED BY LAW).

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS:

Certain statements contained in this letter are forward-looking statements including, but not limited to, statements that are predications of or indicate future events, trends, plans or objectives. Undue reliance should not be placed on such statements because, by their nature, they are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance or activities and are subject to many risks and uncertainties. Due to such risks and uncertainties, actual events or results or actual performance may differ materially from those reflected or contemplated in such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of the future tense or other forward-looking words such as “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “plan,” “estimate,” “should,” “may,” “will,” “objective,” “projection,” “forecast,” “management believes,” “continue,” “strategy,” “position” or the negative of those terms or other variations of them or by comparable terminology.

Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the expectations set forth in this letter include, among other things, the factors identified in Southwest Gas’ public filings. Such forward-looking statements should therefore be construed in light of such factors, and we are under no obligation, and expressly disclaim any intention or obligation, to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.

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I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and have no plans to buy any new positions in the stocks mentioned within the next 72 hours. Click for the complete disclosure
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