Southwest Gas Holdings Inc. said it has received “an indication of interest,” well above a bid by Carl Icahn of $82.50 per share, which the board sees as inadequate.
As a result of the new interest, the board has authorized a review of a full range of strategic alternatives, including a sale of the company and a separate sale of its business units.
Icahn, who owns a small stake in the Las Vegas-based utility, has been locked in a months-long battle with the utility, criticizing its board and management for underperformance. Icahn has nominated a slate of directors to replace the entire board.
“As a board, we determined that the best path forward is to explore a range of strategic alternatives, including a sale of the company, to maximize the value of the company on behalf of all of our stockholders,” said Southwest Gas Chairman Michael J. Melarkey. “We plan to move forward expeditiously.”
Lazard is serving as financial adviser to Southwest Gas. Icahn is invited to participate in the sale process, the company said.