Carl Icahn sells remaining stake in Hain Celestial

Products made by Hain Celestial group are displayed Products made by Hain Celestial group are displayed in the boardroom in Melville. (Sept. 19, 2012) Photo Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

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Carl Icahn, once the largest shareholder in the Lake Success-based Hain Celestial Group, has sold his remaining stake in the company, Hain said Thursday afternoon.

Icahn and his related companies sold 3,589,963 shares of Hain common stock to investment bank Jefferies LLC, which will sell the shares on the Nasdaq Market. Hain will not receive any proceeds.

The announcement comes a little more than a week after the natural and organic food maker reported that Icahn, a well known activist investor, had sold 3,650,000 of his Hain shares for $287 million, reducing his stake in the company by half to 7.5 percent. After the sale announced Thursday, Icahn and his related companies no longer hold any Hain common stock.

"Carl Icahn and his affiliates have been good shareholders," said Mary Celeste Anthes, Hain spokeswoman, in an email. "We welcome our new shareholders for Hain's next level of growth."

It's unclear why Icahn decided to divest from the company. SungHwan Cho, chief financial officer of Manhattan-based Icahn Enterprises, was not available for comment.

Icahn, like other shareholders, profited "very handsomely," said Hain's chief executive Irwin Simon in a previous interview. Icahn had been a shareholder for about 3 1/2 years. He began buying shares when the stock price was around $20, Simon has said.

Hain shares fell $1.20 to $78.15 in after-hours trading Thursday after the sale was disclosed.

Hain, which makes products such as Celestial Seasonings tea, Earth's Best organic baby food and Terra chips, was named one of Fortune magazine's 100 fastest-growing public companies last month.

Money management firm BlackRock was Hain's second-largest shareholder as of June 30, with 4.1 million shares.

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