Activist investor Carl Icahn is dropping his campaign to have Apple buy back $50 billion of its stock from shareholders. His forfeit comes after the prominent proxy firm Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) — an influential adviser to investors — recommended that shareholders vote against his proposal. In an open letter to Apple's investors, Icahn cites both ISS' opposition and some of ISS' arguments against his plan as reasons for ending his aggressive buyback campaign. Apple was also opposed to the proposal.
"We are extremely excited about Apple’s future."
Though Icahn writes that he is "disappointed" in ISS' disapproval, dropping his proposal now isn't a complete loss. Icahn was only asking for Apple to buy back $50 billion in stock by September, and ISS projects that it's already on course to purchase $32 billion this year. Icahn has likely seen his investment increase as well. The Wall Street Journal reports that he now owns $4 billion in Apple shares, which — aside from a sharp dip after its earnings last month — have largely increased since Icahn first announced his large investment in the company.
Icahn also writes that he is "extremely excited" about Apple's future, so he may still be hoping to see more out of its stock. Icahn is no stranger to quickly moving in and shaking up businesses to the benefit of shareholders — namely, himself — and while this may be the end for now, Icahn still has a large stake in Apple.