Icahn calls ‘WSJ’ report into question

Golfer Phil Mickelson says he is co-operating with US investigation

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn said he's not aware of any investigation involving him and golfer Phil Mickelson regarding trades related to Clorox Co and Dean Foods Co. He called a report by the Wall Street Journal "completely irresponsible".

"I never purchased or have been involved in any way with Dean Foods," Mr Icahn said in a telephone interview. "While I have obviously heard of Phil Mickelson, I have never spoken to him or met him."

Insider trading probe

Mr Icahn, Mr Mickelson and sports gambler

William Walters


are targets of an insider trading probe by US authorities, the

Wall Street Journal

reported over the weekend, citing people briefed on the investigation.

The probe is looking at large option trades in the days before Mr Icahn’s $10.2 billion (€7.48 billion) offer for Clorox in July 2011, as well as trading patterns related to Dean Foods.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Securities and Exchange Commission are looking into whether Mr Mickelson and Mr Walters traded illicitly on nonpublic information from Mr Icahn about his investments in public companies.

Legal requirements

Mr Icahn (78) has “never given out inside information,” he said. “We are always very careful to observe all legal requirements in all of our activities. We believe that making inflammatory and speculative statements, especially when we’ve had an unblemished record for 50 years, is completely irresponsible on the part of the

Wall Street Journal


Mr Mickelson (43) denied any wrongdoing and said he is co-operating with the government. “I have done absolutely nothing wrong,” Mr Mickelson said over the weekend.

“I have co-operated with the government in this investigation and will continue to do so. I wish I could fully discuss this matter, but under the current circumstances it’s just not possible.”

Mr Mickelson and Mr Walters placed their trades about the same time in 2011, the Associated Press reported, citing an unidentified federal official.

Investigators are examining whether Mr Icahn shared information on the Clorox takeover attempt with Walters, and whether Mr Walters subsequently shared this with Mr Mickelson, according to AP. – (Bloomberg)