May 7 (Reuters) - Billionaire investor Carl Icahn won control of oil refiner CVR Energy Inc after shareholders flocked to accept a takeover offer valuing the company at about $2.6 billion, ending a three-month-long war of words with the board.
At least 63 percent of CVR's shares not already owned by Icahn affiliates had been tendered as of Friday in response to his $30-a-share offer, Icahn said in a statement on Monday.
With the purchase of these shares, which will occur later in the day, the Icahn group will own about 69 percent of CVR's outstanding shares.
Icahn, who already held a 14.5 percent stake in CVR before the tender offer and was its largest shareholder, will pay about $2.26 billion for the rest of the company.
Seven of CVR's nine-member board will now be replaced with Icahn's nominees, the statement said.
Icahn, who wants to resell CVR, said he would extend the tender offer to May 18. He plans to merge CVR with one of his affiliates if he ends up owning 90 percent of the company.
Selling CVR will not be easy, he said in March.
He has previously named Valero Energy Corp , Western Refining Inc , HollyFrontier Corp , Tesoro Corp , Marathon Petroleum Corp and ConocoPhilips as potential buyers.
To date, no potential bidders have stepped forward.
CVR owns refineries in Coffeyville, Kansas and Wynnewood, Oklahoma. It also owns and runs a crude oil gathering system with a capacity of about 38,000 barrels per day serving Kansas, Oklahoma, western Missouri and southwestern Nebraska, and holds a majority stake in fertilizer producer CVR Partners LP .
CVR could be sold in parts, said Eliecer Palacios, an energy sector specialist at investment bank Maxim Group in
"For the right price, there is always someone who is interested in acquiring pipelines, storage tanks and other midstream assets," said Palacios.
CVR's board, which had been opposing Icahn's hostile bid, scrapped a shareholder rights plan, or poison pill, last month after 55 percent of the company's shares were tendered to Icahn's initial offer, which lapsed on April 2.
The company maintained it was worth more than Icahn's offer and never recommended the tender offer to shareholders. A CVR spokesman declined to comment on the tender result on Monday.
CVR shares have risen about 30 percent since Icahn disclosed his stake in the company on Jan. 13. The stock, which closed at $30.05 on Friday on the New York Stock Exchange, has traded marginally above the $30-offer price for the last two weeks.
The stock was untraded before the opening on Monday.
The offer for CVR includes a contingent value right that would give shareholders additional cash if Icahn manages to sell the company for more than $30 per share.
Icahn has said he would not settle for a bid below $35 per share.