Icahn denies inappropriate stock sale before Trump tariff announcement

- Maret 07, 2018

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn, a friend of President Donald Trump, denied Wednesday having any prior information about the administration's tariff announcement last week that might have prompted him to sell shares in a company affected by the news.

In a brief statement on his website, Icahn said, "Any suggestion that we had prior knowledge of the Trump administration's announcement of new tariffs on steel imports is categorically untrue."

In February, Icahn's funds sold millions of dollars of shares in The Manitowoc Co., one of the world's largest manufacturers of cranes. On March 1, the day Trump announced steel and aluminum tariffs, the Wisconsin-based company's shares dropped about 6 percent.

"We reduced our position in Manitowoc for legitimate investment reasons having nothing to do with that announcement," Icahn said in his statement, without elaborating. Icahn Associates Corp. was the second-largest shareholder of Manitowoc at the end of 2017. Its shares closed today at $28.16, down 5.25 percent from its March 1 opening price.

Shortly after Trump's election, he picked Icahn — a supporter throughout the presidential campaign — to be an unpaid adviser on deregulation issues. Though Icahn gave up his role in August 2017, his recent trading in Manitowoc drew suspicion about whether he might have known about Trump's tariff announcement.

On March 5, the Project on Government Oversight, a watchdog group, sent a letter to the SEC to investigate Icahn's Manitowoc share sales.


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