Monday, 2 June 2008

Shareholder action

Atos Origin is not the only company with 'activist' shareholders.

I see that Carl Icahn is to buy up to $1.5b more shares in Yahoo as he readies his proxy battle to replace the company's board to force it to relook at the Microsoft bid (if one still exists....). Icahn already owns 10m Yahoo shares plus options to buy another 49m shares.

Also two EDS shareholders are using legal action to try to block the HP takeover. The Intermountain Ironworkers Trust Fund has filed a lawsuit in Texas alleging the EDS directors breached their "fiduciary duties" as the takeover agreement prohibits EDS directors from seeking a higher price from alternative bidders and guarantees Hewlett-Packard a USD375m pay-off if EDS does not go through with the sale.

In addition, Joseph Villari has filed a separate lawsuit in Delaware, claiming the agreed price undervalues EDS.

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