Friday, June 15, 2012

MHR Fund reports 14 pct stake in Navistar (NYSE:NAV)

MHR Fund reports 14 pct stake in Navistar (NYSE:NAV)Orlando, FL 6/15/12 (StreetBeat) -- Investment firm MHR Fund Management LLC reported a 13.6 percent stake in Navistar International Corp (NYSE:NAV) and said it may seek talks with the management of the troubled truck and engine maker.

MHR, which is run by Mark Rachesky, owns about 9.4 million shares of Navistar, according to a regulatory filing on Friday.

Rachesky, who used to work for billionaire investor Carl Icahn before co-founding MHR, has previously invested in Lions Gate Entertainment Corp (NYSE:LGF). He is also the chairman of Leap Wireless International Inc (Nasdaq:LEAP).

Icahn said last week he had raised his stake in Navistar to 12 percent, taking advantage of a sharp drop in the stock price triggered by weak results.

In the filing, New York-based MHR said it "may seek to engage in discussions with (the) management and others concerning the business and operations of the company."

Navistar's stock slide followed an unexpected second-quarter loss due to the rising cost of repairing engines sold in 2010 and 2011 and delays in regulatory approval for a new diesel engine design.

There has been increasing speculation that the company may be an acquisition target.

Icahn has pushed for a merger between Navistar and rival Oshkosh Truck Corp (NYSE:OSK), in which he owns a stake.

Fiat Industrial chairman Sergio Marchionne said last week he was interested in increasing his company's presence in the U.S. truck market, leading to speculation that Fiat could also be interested in Navistar.

Volkswagen has also been reported to be in the early stages of examining whether to take a stake in Navistar.

Navistar's shares rose 3 percent to $28.58 in premarket trading. They had closed at $27.83 on Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange.

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