Newell Brands Reaches Deal With Investor to Avoid Proxy Battle

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Newell Manufacturers
Inc.

NWL zero.11%

and

Carl Icahn

have struck a take care of one other activist investor, heading off a proxy struggle because the maker of Elmer’s Glue, Sharpie markers and Mr. Espresso machines works to shed property and switch round its operations.

Beneath the phrases of the settlement, Mr. Icahn will surrender two of the 5 board seats he gained final month in favor of two candidates supported by activist hedge fund Starboard Worth LP. In return, Starboard dropped its effort to overtake the board, agreeing to withdraw its slate of administrators and vote in favor of Newell’s nominees.

“The corporate reached out to us and requested that we surrender two board seats to keep away from a probably disruptive proxy struggle, which may have been particularly dangerous at this necessary time for the corporate,” Mr. Icahn stated.

The deal introduced Monday additionally means Chief Govt

Michael Polk

—whom Starboard wished out—will stay in place. He stated Monday that the settlement with Starboard will permit Newell to focus completely on efforts to enhance its monetary and operational efficiency.

Starboard had deliberate to go public this week with its case, arguing, amongst different issues, that Mr. Polk shared key info with solely a contingent of the board and never all administrators, in response to folks conversant in the state of affairs.

The hedge fund had been urgent the proxy struggle regardless of the deal Newell reached with Mr. Icahn, asserting that it didn’t do sufficient to handle the consumer-product firm’s points. On the time that deal was struck, a trio of former Newell administrators aligned with Starboard dropped out of the struggle.

Newell is attempting to generate at the least $10 billion from asset gross sales as it really works to stabilize the enterprise following a troublesome 2017 during which the corporate’s share worth plummeted amid sluggish gross sales and several other missed forecasts. Mr. Polk has stated the poor efficiency is a outcomes of outdoor components, together with the chapter of Toys “R” Us, Inc., a significant vendor of a number of Newell manufacturers.

Starboard owns a three.eight% stake in Newell whereas Mr. Icahn owns a 6.9% stake. After Newell’s annual assembly subsequent month, 9 of the 12 instructions can be new to the board, Starboard stated.

Newell shares, down greater than 40% from a 12 months in the past, have been off barely at $26.38 in afternoon buying and selling Monday. The inventory has fallen 15% this 12 months whereas the S&P 500 has inched zero.1% decrease.

Write to Imani Moise at imani.moise@wsj.com and Sharon Terlep at sharon.terlep@wsj.com



Supply hyperlink – https://www.wsj.com/articles/newell-brands-reaches-deal-with-investor-to-avoid-proxy-battle-1524489776?mod=pls_whats_news_us_business_f

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