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May 10, 2010
 |  BioCentury  |  Finance

The gloves are off

Genzyme woos shareholders with buyback and divestment plans; Icahn targets Termeer

Carl Icahn finally made it crystal clear that his goal in his battle with Genzyme Corp. is to depose Chairman, President and CEO Henri Termeer.

A few days in advance of the company's analyst and investor day last week, Icahn submitted a proxy statement to the SEC specifying the four directors he hopes to replace: Termeer; compensation committee chair and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) professor Charles Cooney; nominating/governance committee chair and former U.S. Sen. Connie Mack; and Richard Syron, former chairman and CEO of Freddie Mac.

Genzyme responded with its ongoing complaint that Icahn has a substantial conflict of interest because of his position in competitor Biogen Idec Inc. and announced plans to boost its EPS

Two of his nominees to Genzyme's board, Alex Denner and Richard Mulligan, already sit on Biogen Idec's board, which Genzyme said compromises their ability to serve as independent directors.

Genzyme said the election of either would violate the Clayton Antitrust Act, which prohibits individuals from serving simultaneously on boards of competitors.

Icahn has also nominated himself and Steven Burakoff.

In a shareholder letter, Genzyme said its development of Campath alemtuzumab, "Genzyme's most important pipeline product, makes it likely that...

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