Activist investor Carl Icahn nominated two directors to USA Today publisher Gannett Co Inc's board and pushed for changes in the company's corporate governance practices.
The company's shares rose as much as 3.7 percent to $32.53 in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
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Gannett said in August it would separate its slow-growing print operations, including USA Today, from its TV and digital properties.
Icahn, who owned about 6.6 percent of Gannett as of Sept. 30, said he was concerned about the decisions the company may make in anticipation of the spinoff.
The billionaire investor, however, said following the spinoff either of the two companies could become potential acquisition targets.
The company said in statement on Thursday it was surprised with Icahn's "aggressive actions," adding that it would evaluate the proposals and make a recommendation to shareholders in due course. (Reporting By Subrat Patnaik in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)