TORONTO — Agrium Inc won another ringing endorsement just ahead of a crucial shareholder vote after influential advisory firm Glass Lewis on Tuesday advised its clients to back all 12 of Agrium’s board nominees over a slate nominated by dissident investor Jana Partners.
The recommendation from the well-regarded advisory firm is a big boost for Agrium ahead of a shareholder vote on April 9 and follows similar recommendations from smaller firms like U.S.-based Egan-Jones and UK-based Pensions Investment Research Consultants.
While Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. has a little room to restructure its offer for Norfolk Southern Corp., a proxy fight appears likely at this point, according to Hunter Harrison, the Canadian carrier’s chief executive officer.
The U.S. railroad, which rejected its suitor’s revised proposal on Monday, hasn’t engaged in negotiations, Harrison said.
The war of words over a takeover offer that no one will acknowledge publicly and may never get off the ground continued on Thursday, with Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. director Bill Ackman saying rail consolidation could “meaningfully” improve industry efficiency.
Norfolk Southern Corp. is meeting with investors this week to promote its new operating plan as part of an effort to convince them that it’s doing the right thing in shunning a takeover by Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd., according to people familiar with the matter.
Remember when U.S. hedge fund manager Bill Ackman railed against the cozy corporate culture of the Canadian establishment during his bruising proxy battle to unseat the blue-chip board at Canadian Pacific Ltd. last year?
Recall his lament of how difficult it was to recruit candidates to join his activist campaign because folks were unwilling to “stick their necks out” when his New York-based firm Pershing Square Capital Management LP launched an assault to force the ouster of Fred Green, chief executive of one of this country’s most venerable and underperforming companies.
It might be all about winning but victory is just the start of the process.
That is how Stephen Griggs, chief executive of Smoothwater Capital, an activist investor with two scalps under its belt, describes life as an activist.
Griggs, who in an earlier career ran the Canadian Coalition for Good Governance, told a conference Tuesday in Toronto that activist targets are selected on the basis that management is underperforming and that a new team with a new approach could return the company to a significant improvement in share value.
Canada’s rules on poison-pills and the relative ease with which investors can call for shareholder meetings make the country a friendlier place for shareholder activists than the U.S., said Bill Ackman, the billionaire hedge-fund manager.
“It’s a better regime in almost every measure,” he said during an Ontario Securities Commission event in Toronto. Canadian regulators often remove poison pills — shareholder rights plans that can be used to fend off an unsolicited bid — after a short period.
Norfolk Southern Corp.’s board has officially rejected a revised takeover offer from Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd., saying it’s worth less than the first proposal and doesn’t do anything to address its regulatory concerns.
“The consideration in that proposal has less overall value and cash than your prior proposal, which the board had determined to be grossly inadequate,” says the rejection letter, signed by CEO Jim Squires and lead independent director Steven Leer.
The proxy battle for control of Kobex Capital Corp. — the second in the past two years involving the Vancouver based company — got more interesting and decidedly weirder last week.
The battle seemed headed for an old-fashioned shootout on Nov. 17 between the board, which acquired control in mid-2013, and Kingsway Financial Services, the company’s second-largest shareholder and which in mid-September requested a special meeting to unseat Kobex’s board.
By Takeover Analyst:In previous articles, I have expressed my bullish outlook on the rail industry. In this one, I argued, frankly, that "railroad stocks are heading skyward". Satiating my interest in railroads with my background in proxy fights, it is interesting to watch the battle going on at Canadian Pacific (CP).