Elliott Advisers, a US hedge fund that holds 6% of Actelion's stock, today nominated its own slate of candidates for Actelion's board. Elliot has been pushing current Actelion management for some time to put the company up for sale and to entertain offers. This move has been expected as Elliott attempts to apply more pressure. Its 6 candidates if elected would constitute a majority of the 11-person board.
Analysts have said that Elliot's candidates would have to be a very impressive lot in order to pull this off. After the announcment, several seemed underwhelmed. Some of the following quotes were issued by analysts looking at the slate:
"A lot will depend on the candidates. If they get really big names, that will be a help. But if it's mainly people who've been squeezed out, it will look less convincing."
"The track record of some of the recommended board members is hardly exemplary...We are underwhelmed by Elliot Adviser's attack on the members of the board in terms of quality"
Elliott characterized the slate as "independent members" should they be elected. And, further stated its nominees had proven their value with leading pharmaceutical companies in the world. Actelion said it had no immediate comment and is spending its time on a roadshow with investors.
The annual shareholder meeting is scheduled for May 5th. See Financial Times.
Posted by Bruce Lehr March 19th 2011.