Icahn offers to buy Oshkosh Corp for $32.50 a share

Activist investor Carl Icahn on Thursday offered to buy all outstanding shares of U.S. truckmaker Oshkosh Corp for $32.50, a 21 percent premium to their Wednesday closing price.

Icahn, who is already Oshkosh's largest shareholder with a 9.45 percent stake, said that he plans to nominate a slate of directors for election at the company's next annual meeting and that his offer would be subject to the election of those directors.

"Mismanagement of this company has resulted in a lost decade of shareholder value," Icahn said in a statement. "Oshkosh needs proactive shareholders to bring a proactive management team together to weather a volatile economy."

Oshkosh did not immediately respond to a call seeking comment. Shares of the company surged 13 percent to $30.27 on the news.

Icahn said in a statement that a tender offer would expire in 45 days, but that if at least 25 percent of the company's outstanding shares were sold to him he would extend it.

Should he be able to boost his stake to 50.1 percent, he added, "we will demand that the current board ... accelerate the upcoming annual meeting to allow the prompt election of our slate of directors so that the tender offer can close quickly."

Icahn in January conducted an unsuccessful campaign to have six directors nominated to the Oshkosh, Wisconsin-based company's board, with his slate ultimately voted down by Oshkosh shareholders.

That did not deter the billionaire, known for taking large stakes in companies and pushing for management shake-ups or sales. Icahn in August called on Oshkosh to spin off its JLG aerial-lift unit to shareholders, saying that business, which Oshkosh bought in 2006 for $3 billion, would do better on its own.

Icahn last week won a victory in a campaign at another truckmaker, when Navistar International Corp agreed to accept Icahn associate Vincent Intrieri to its board. The company also agreed to accept another shareholder, Mark Rachesky, as a director and to take on one other director nominated by the two investors.

(Reporting By Scott Malone; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick)