In his rush to save Genzyme
The activist billionaire investor has nominated four people, including himself, to sit on Genzyme's board. Considering the year that Genzyme has had, including a recent announcement that the Food and Drug Administration wants a consent decree, it seemed Icahn had the upper hand in the proxy fight.
There's just one problem. Two of Icahn's nominees also sit on Biogen Idec's
The threshold for competition is fairly low -- just 2% of sales at one company and 4% at the other. Google
It's unclear if Genzyme and Biogen meet the competition requirements because Genzyme doesn't break out revenue from Campath and Fludara. But even if they don't meet the definition of competitors now, that could change in the next few years. Genzyme is testing Campath in two phase 3 trials as a treatment for multiple sclerosis, which is in Biogen's wheelhouse because it sells both Avonex and Tysabri for MS.
It seems that Icahn's biggest obstacle may not be convincing shareholders that change is needed, but that two of his nominees are capable of helping with the turnaround without a conflict of interest.
Stay tuned, Fools. This proxy fight has a long ways to go before it reaches its final destination.