Gambler William Walters is the man that links investor and activist, Carl Icahn, to Golf Pro Phil Michelson. “Billy” is an accomplished sports better who befriended Mr. Icahn during a time when Mr. Icahn’s company owned the Stratosphere hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. “Billy” owns several golf courses in Las Vegas, and is an avid golfer himself. He’s been known to golf with Mr. Michelson and occasionally offer some stock tips.
If the gambler did advise Phil Michelson on when to fold them, it had nothing to do with betting. It was just an after thought on a laundry tip. The best way to keep a white golf shirt looking new is with a ½ cup of Clorox and some hot water. Neither the gambler, nor Phil Michelson had any idea that buying Clorox in 2011 would put them in a world of hot water.
Mr. Icahn purchased stake in Clorox during the summer of 2011, after “Billy” and Mr. Michelson had bought in. The investigation revolves around whether Mr. Icahn advised “Billy” of non-public information involving his upcoming bid for the company. If “Billy” then made mention of that bid to Mr. Michelson, then he also stood to profit with inside information. After purchasing stake in Clorox, Mr. Icahn pushed the company to sell out to larger corporations. When that didn’t take place, Mr. Icahn offered to buy for $80, later switching his offer to $78 per share. Clorox didn’t accept and Mr. Icahn walked away. (Schaefer, 2013)
The well-known investor is an avid poker player and can apply the same skill to his other vested interests. That skill of “knowing what to throw away, and knowing what to keep” (Schlitz, 1978), has made him a billionaire on Wall Street. When Mr. Icahn buys up stake in a company, it’s common for that stock price to increase. Part of this may be contributed to the fact that buying a large stake in a company increases demand, driving the price up. Another contributing factor is his respected status as an investor. He’s made billions on Wall Street; some folks will follow his lead. As for his Clorox bid, Carl Icahn lost when Clorox shares increased buy 24% after he pulled out. However, the real penalty may be yet to come if any of these big three are convicted of insider trading.
Schlitz, D. (1978). The Gambler. (K. Rogers, Performer)