Financier Carl Icahn has increased his bid to buy Pep Boys, the auto parts and repair chain that had previously agreed to an $835 million buyout offer from Japan's Bridgestone Corp.
Icahn has amassed a roughly 12 percent stake in the Philadelphia-based Pep Boys chain, which disclosed the latest offer in a regulatory filing on Monday. The billionaire investor did not immediately return a call from The Associated Press seeking comment.
Bridgestone, the tire and auto service company, said in October that it will buy Pep Boys-Manny, Moe & Jack in a cash deal that amounted to $15 per share, a premium of more than 23 percent to the price of company stock on the last trading day before the acquisition was announced.
Icahn, who had offered $13.50 in late October, raised his bid to $15.50 a share on Monday. "We believe our proposal is clearly superior to the $15.00 per share Bridgestone transaction and that our financial wherewithal to close expeditiously is indisputable," said Keith Cozza, CEO of Icahn Enterprises, in a letter to Pep Boys management on Monday.
Pep Boys had announced earlier in the year that its board was reviewing strategic options to boost shareholder value. It said Monday that Icahn had discussed with the company his interest in its retail business for several months.
The chain operates more than 800 locations in 35 states and Puerto Rico. Pep Boys' stock rose 37 cents, or 2.4 percent, to $16.06 Monday after Icahn's bid was disclosed.