Activist investor Carl Icahn has stepped up pressure on Apple to boost its share repurchase plan with a formal proposal to the tech giant’s board of directors.
Icahn said on Wednesday he was making the proposal while scaling back his more ambitious share repurchase suggestion made earlier this year to Apple chief executive Tim Cook.
“Gave $AAPL notice we’ll be making a precatory proposal to call for vote to increase buyback program, although not at $US150 billion ($A166.53 billion) level,” Icahn said in a tweet.
A precatory request is one which would not be binding but would merely request that the company’s board consider the action.
CNBC said Icahn was asking for $US50 billion in additional share buybacks, which would boost Apple’s program to some $US110 billion.
A huge repurchase of shares could increase the value for shareholders by reducing the number of shares outstanding. Apple has already agreed to a plan to return some $US100 billion to shareholders including $US60 billion in buybacks.
Apple stock was down 0.23 per cent at $US565 on Wednesday. The shares topped $US700 last year and fell as low as $US385 this year.
Icahn has said he is bullish on Apple and sees the iPhone and iPad maker as undervalued.
The billionaire investor has a long history of taking positions in companies that give him the leverage to force changes in management or provide dividends to shareholders.