William Ackman may now have enough votes to call a special Allergan, Inc. (NYSE:AGN) shareholder meeting in December, he said in a statement released Friday. It might now matter, says Allergan, as they are planning on holding a special shareholder meeting in December anyway.
Allergan defending itself from Ackman and Valeant
The game of tit for tat, that is the Allergan, Inc. (NYSE:AGN) fight to stave off acquisition by Ackman and Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX), could result in some finality one way or another, before the end of the year. On Friday Ackman announced he has the support of 39 percent of Allergan shareholders – more than the 25 percent required to call a special meeting. Allergan had been arguing that Ackman cannot count his 9.7 percent stake in the company, a move Ackman has said is “burdensome.”
“Allergan shareholders have spoken forcefully about their demand for a special meeting to be called by delivering requests representing 35% of the outstanding shares,” Ackman said in the statement. “Even excluding our shares, Allergan shareholders have met the Company’s extraordinarily burdensome requirements to call the meeting. Hopefully, the board will finally recognize that shareholders want the opportunity to voice their point of view on the board, the bylaws, and the Valeant transaction, and unconditionally call the meeting.”
Allergan, Inc. (NYSE:AGN), however, says that a meeting is already planned for December.
Allergan trying to derail Ackmans efforts
“Allergan has already scheduled the special meeting for December 18, 2014,” Allergan said in a statement, diminishing the need for Ackman’s efforts but also potentially trying to derail momentum. “The delivery of additional requests for the Special Meeting by Pershing Square is not a meaningful development.”
What is meaningful, according to hedge fund observers, is that support for Ackman continues to grow. Ackman’s announcement served two purposes: overtly it was designed to push the December meeting, but more significantly it shows support is building for the ultimate December vote.
Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX) recently extended the deadline for Allergan shareholders to support their acquisition. If something doesn’t change, a dramatic development, Ackman is likely to gain another 12 percent and prevail in a proxy vote, hedge fund observers predict.
Allergan, Inc. (NYSE:AGN) accused Ackman in court of insider trading in his involvement in the deal. Ackman was involved in the strategic planning with Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX) and purchased interest in Allergan through derivatives before the deal was made public. The SEC, for its part, has remained silent on the issue other than one of its lawyers testifying in Congress that the deal might have violated insider trading rules.