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The Wall Street Journal: Carl Icahn exits his big bet in Occidental Petroleum

Carl Icahn exited a big bet on Occidental Petroleum Corp., selling the last of what was once a roughly 10% stake in the oil-and-gas producer as its shares surge.

Icahn, who had been cutting the position, in recent days sold the remainder of it, according to a letter he sent to Occidental’s board Sunday. The move brings to a close one of Icahn’s most dramatic recent clashes, which began when he criticized Occidental for outbidding larger rival Chevron Corp.
CVX,
+1.56%

 to strike a $38 billion deal to buy Anadarko Petroleum Corp. in May 2019.

The activist investor’s two representatives on Occidental’s board are also resigning, he said in the letter, as was required by a settlement agreement with the company at the onset of the pandemic.

Occidental’s shares
OXY,
+17.59%

plummeted in March 2020, allowing Icahn to double down on the investment, boosting his stake from 2.5% to around 10%. By that time, he had been arguing for almost a year that the Anadarko deal was an ill-conceived defensive move and campaigning for the ouster of Chief Executive Vicki Hollub. He also took issue with the $10 billion of pricey financing from Warren Buffett that Occidental relied on to pay for the deal.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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