Actelion, in the face of criticism and a board challenge from one of its biggest investors -- Elliott Advisors, took the offensive by nominating the former CEO of GSK, Jean-Pierre Garnier as deputy chairman to the board. They also nominated Robert Bertolini a long-time finance expert in the pharma industry.
In doing so, they hope to blunt or completely rebuff the effort of Elliott Advisors to put forth its own slate of 7 replacement board candidates for election at the May 5th shareholders meeting. Most observers agree that the two Actelion candidates far outshine the Elliott nominees. This late stage effort may be enough to do the trick to blunt criticism of Actelion management for being too dependent on Tracleer as a one-trick pony, and misuse of a large R&D budget being applied to too many areas.
In a statement, Mr. Garnier said, "I'm very impressed with the company's track record and where it stands today...I believe Actelion's record in translating superior drug discovery into meaningful therapeutic solutions is very exciting. I look forward to contributing to guiding the company through the next phase of growth."
Take that Elliott! Time to phone home for next counter response. See FT.com.
Posted by Bruce Lehr April 7th 2011.