Activist investor Carl Icahn said Tuesday that he had taken a “large position” in Allergan PLC () and expressed support for the pharmaceutical company’s chief executive, Brent Saunders.
“We have recently acquired a large position in Allergan and are very supportive of CEO Brent Saunders,” Icahn said in a statement Tuesday.
Allegan share rose 0.62 percent to $237.4 at 12:55 p.m. in New York.
“We were instrumental in bringing Brent on board as the new CEO of Forest Labs a few years ago and worked cooperatively and constructively with him to help increase value for all Forest shareholders,” Mr. Icahn said in a statement on his website. “Less than a year later Forest was acquired by Actavis (which subsequently merged with Allergan) resulting in massive gains for Forest shareholders. While we at that time disposed of our position in Forest, we still have always maintained great respect for Brent."
The movement comes two months after the U.S. government blocked Allegan’s $160 billion merger plan with Pfizer Inc. by issuing new rules against tax inversions.
Allergan said that this investment would not influence the management of control of the company.
"We welcome all investors who recognize the value of our business," spokesman Mark Marmur told CNBC. "[Allergan] is grateful for the confidence of our investors, whether they are new holders or have been long-term investors."
Allergan shares have lost 23.5 percent this year.