Icahn Increases Lear Bid To $2.9 Billion

Lear will postpone shareholder vote to July 16.

DETROIT (AP) - A group led by billionaire investor Carl Icahn has agreed to increase its offer for Lear Corp. by about 3.5 percent to about $2.9 billion and the automotive supplier said Monday it will delay the shareholder vote on the offer.

The Icahn-controlled American Real Estate Partners LP increased its price for shares of Lear common stock from $36 a share to $37.25 a share.

The original offer represented a premium of about 4 percent over the stock's value at the time it was made in February by Icahn, already Lear's largest shareholder.

''The Lear board concluded unanimously that the original merger agreement with (American Real Estate Partners) was fair and in the best interests of Lear's stockholders. The increased price makes the transaction even more attractive,'' Larry McCurdy, Lear's lead independent director, said in a statement. ''We believe the revised price represents a meaningful increase in value for Lear stockholders, and we strongly encourage a vote in favor of the revised merger proposal.''

Lear, which already had moved its annual shareholder meeting from June 27 to Thursday amid shareholder criticism of the deal, said it will adjourn Thursday's meeting in Wilmington, Del., without a vote and move it to July 16.

Southfield-based Lear's products include seats and electronic systems for all major automakers.


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