Pershing Square Capital Management claims Automatic Data Processing CEO Oscar Rodriguez attempted to mislead his board of directors in an email sent by accident to Pershing Square founder Bill Ackman. The activist says it modified its initial request for a 30-45 day extension to the nomination deadline, was in fact willing to work with Rodriguez and had no interest in seeking control of the company.
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Another detail revealed in yesterday’s preliminary proxy statement from Pershing Square (filed, as has been common this year, before the issuer) was that neither of the activist’s nominees have been compensated to stand in the contest, nor own any stock themselves. This is relatively unusual, as activist nominees are usually paid a fair compensation for their time and are required to invest in the company if elected to the board. That said, Veronica Hagen and Paul Unruh have been indemnified against any lawsuits, a step that seems prudent to say the least.
What we’ll be watching for this week
- Pershing Square holds a webcast on its ADP investment on August 17 at 09:00 EDT; how will the activist respond to attacks from CEO Oscar Rodriguez?
- Will shareholders in Sabra Health Care REIT back the merger with Care Capital Properties today despite opposition from activist investors Eminence Capital and Hudson Bay Capital Management?
- Will Third Point Partners seek to prevent Vantiv’s takeover of Worldpay after disclosing a 1.2% stake?
- Will CSW Industrials be spared opposition at its annual shareholder meeting today after settling a proxy contest in July 2016?
Shares in Herbalife and similar companies fell sharply on Monday after a report in China sparked fears of a regulatory war on multilevel marketing companies. According to CNBC, a Phoenix New Media report said four government departments were to start planning a crackdown that will "eradicate" multilevel marketing schemes such as Herbalife, Nu Skin and Usana, all of which have a significant presence in the country. Nu Skin, which has Marc Cohodes betting against its stock, fell 7.5% on Monday, while Usana, a target of Citron Research, was down a similar amount. Herbalife was the least affected, falling slightly over 5%. Around 20% of its revenues were generated in China in the first half of 2017 but not without a little bother: U.S. authorities have opened an investigation into its compliance with anti-corruption laws there.
Article by Activist Insight