Billionaire investor Carl Icahn has acquired 10% stake in Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX), according to a regulatory filing made on Wednesday.
Icahn disclosed in the filing that he bought shares and call options in the Los Gatos, California-based company. The purchase from Icahn has fueled speculation that NFLX is a takeover target. Last week, NFLX shares had surged on rumors that technology giant Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) would acquire the company. However, both, Microsoft and Netflix, denied that the two companies were in any takeover talks.
Speaking to Reuters, Icahn said that he feels Netflix is undervalued and would make a great acquisition for a number of companies. Icahn believes that there would be a bidding war if NFLX was ever up for sale.
According to the regulatory filing, Icahn acquired 5.5 million NFLX shares and call options for approximately $168.9 million.
NFLX shares soared on Wednesday following reports of Icahnâ€™s purchase. The stock rose nearly 14% in Wednesdayâ€™s trading session. NFLX shares have pared some of their gains from Wednesday in early trading today. At last check, the stock was trading 4.05% lower at $76.03 on volume of 2.72 million. Year-to-date, NFLX shares have gained more than 10%.
Icahnâ€™s purchase comes just a few days after Netflix announced that it has more than 30 million streaming members globally, including over 25 million in the U.S. alone. The company said that the expansion over the last 22 months comes from the continued growth of U.S. and Canadian streaming subscribers and introduction of the Netflix â€śwatch instantlyâ€ť service to new markets in Latin America and Europe.
Reed Hastings, co-founder and CEO of Netflix, thanked the companyâ€™s subscribers in a Facebook post last week and said that their choice to be a Netflix member helps the company to get more content every year and helps the company further improve the Netflix experience.