Billionaire buys stake in Lake Oswego rail car company

PORTLAND, Ore. -- It appears that Carl Icahn's interest in the Greenbrier Companies has been rekindled.

The billionaire activist investor has acquired a 9.99 percent stake in the Lake Oswego-based maker of rail cars and barges (NYSE: GBX). Icahn paid approximately $40.3 million for 2.7 million shares.

In a 13D report filed Tuesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Icahn indicated that the shares were undervalued and that he intended to discuss possible "strategic opportunities" for the company with Greenbrier management.

Icahn began acquiring shares on Oct. 19 through ARI Longtrain Inc., an affiliate of Icahn Enterprise Holdings, paying between $13.71 and $17.07 per share.

This isn't the first time Icahn has expressed an interest in Greenbrier. He acquired a 9.5 percent stake in Greenbrier back in February 2008, saying at the time that the shares were undervalued. His plan was to merge Greenbrier with his company American Railcar Industries Inc. Icahn still owns American Railcar.

After meeting with Greenbrier executives, Icahn dropped his bid, citing "certain unresolved issues" in an SEC filing. He later sold his shares.

Icahn's purchase of Greenbrier shares comes as his activist campaign involving Netflix Inc. intensifies. Icahn acquired a 10 percent stake in Netflix on Oct. 31 and has since blasted Netflix management and discussed pressing for strategic options such as a hostile takeover or sale.

The Portland Business Journal is a KATU News partner.