Carl Icahn eyes scandal mired FirstEnergy

One of the country’s largest electric utilities is under SEC and Dept. of Justice scrutiny

AKRON, Ohio — Billionaire investor Carl Icahn has signaled an interest in making a large purchase of voting shares from one of the country’s largest electric utilities, which is currently under investigation for its role in an Ohio bribery scandal.

Akron-based FirstEnergy officials announced Thursday during an annual investor call that it received a letter from Icahn Capital LP on Tuesday saying the company has a “present good faith intention” to buy more than $184 million in voting shares but less than $920 million.

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FirstEnergy’s stock price reached $35.11 in midafternoon trading Thursday after opening at $31.59 and closed up more than 7%.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
FEFIRSTENERGY CORP.33.14-0.37-1.10%

The company does not know what Icahn’s intentions are or whether he has purchased stock to this point, FirstEnergy Chief Financial Officer John Taylor said.

A message seeking comment was left with Icahn.

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FirstEnergy is a target of investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The company has been accused of secretly funding a $60 million bribery scheme involving the former Ohio House speaker and others to win passage of a $1 billion bailout for two Ohio nuclear power plants operated by a wholly-owned subsidiary.