Marcato Capital Ups Demands, Wants Seat On Lear Board

Marcato Capital Ups Demands, Wants Seat On Lear Board

Mick McGuire, a former partner at Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square, has expressed a wish to have representatives of his fund, Marcato Capital Management, on the board of Lear Corporation (NYSE:LEA). The intention was stated in an SEC filing which showed Marcato now owns 5.9% of the automotive supplier.


An addendum of a document filed today with the Securities and Exchange Commission said that “Mr. McGuire could be considered to have an interest in the proposed nomination of candidates for election to the Board of Directors.” The note goes on to suggest the nomination of three people associated with the firm, including McGuire himself.

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This is not the first time Marcato has gotten activist, and it may be a sign of things to come from Mick McGuire. Back in December, McGuire weighed in on the problems of DineEquity Inc (NYSE:DIN), demanding a dividend from the company.

McGuire’s investment in Lear Corporation (NYSE:LEA) appears to have paid off so far. According to the firm’s fourth quarter filing, the hedge fund held a $127 million stake in the firm. Since the start of 2013, the company’s shares have increased by more than 22%. In the last twelve months, the firm has had a rockier time – increasing by just over 15%. The filing show that Marcato started buying its stake in the company in the first quarter of 2012.

Mick McGuire is a rising star in the hedge fund world. His performance in 2012, and his connections in the financial arena, make his growing infamy justified. An activist run at Lear Corporation (NYSE:LEA) might be exactly what he needs to put his name beside Ackman’s in the mind of investors. With Ackman’s current problems, it might not be too long before Ackman is remembered as having worked with McGuire, rather than the other way around.

Mick McGuire left Pershing Square in 2009 with the support of Bill Ackman. His own hedge fund, Marcato Capital Management, has more than $750 million in assets under management as of the December 31 2012. The firm was among the best performers last year, with returns of around 29%.

Shares in Lear Corporation (NYSE:LEA) were down slightly at the time of this writing. The firm’s poor fortune may have more to do with federal budget negotiations than the Marcato campaign, and its 2013 performance has been stellar. The response from Lear Corporation (NYSE:LEA) is hotly anticipated.

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