eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY) responded to the recent attack of activist investor Carl Icahn that the e-commerce company has a “complete disregard for accountability” and some of its board of directors particularly Marc Andreessen and Scott Cook have conflicts of interest in the company.
In a press statement the e-commerce company said the letters and media interviews of Icahn may be entertaining but his facts are inaccurate. eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY) said, “Carl Icahn doesn’t let the truth get in the way of a good story… In fact, Mr. Icahn seems to be deliberately disseminating claims that are dead wrong.” According to the company, the claims of the activist investor against Cook and Andreessen are “blatantly false.”
eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY) challenged Icahn to end his own charade with its shareholders and to focus on honest and accurate debate.
With regard to claims of Icahn regarding its transaction with Skype, the company pointed out that its board of directors explored all option and engaged in a competitive process with multiple bidders including several financial and strategic buyers.
eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY) said, “The best available transaction was a sale of a majority stake to a private equity consortium that included Silver Lake Partners, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Index Ventures and others. Andreessen Horowitz Ventures had an approximately 3% minority stake. As the lead equity investor, Silver Lake Partners led the negotiations for this consortium.”
The company said, “Andreessen recused himself from all deliberations” related to the transaction, and it kept 30% stake in Skype, retaining an upside in any subsequent transaction. In addition, eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY) emphasized that Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) eventually decided to acquire Skype after settling an intellectual property litigation.
eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY) sold Skype to the private equity consortium for $1.9 billion, which was later sold to Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) for $8.5 billion.The e-commerce giant said it obtained “substantial gain” from an asset that has been previously written down, and the transaction was widely regarded as an “excellent result for the company and its shareholders.
Furthermore, eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY) said some of its executive officers and directors are participants in the solicitation of proxies from shareholders during its 2014 annual stockholders meeting. The company plans to file a proxy statement and white proxy card with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Icahn is pushing the eBay’s board of directors to spin-off PayPal as a separate company. The board rejected Icahn’s proposal. The stock price of eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY) rose more than 2% to $57.34 per share on Wednesday.