Sherritt International Corp. wins solid victory in proxy fight, but activist George Armoyan vows to keep pushing for change – by Peter Koven (National Post – May 7, 2014)

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TORONTO — Sherritt International Corp. won a convincing victory in its proxy battle with George Armoyan on Tuesday, but the activist investor insists he is not selling his shares and going away.

Mr. Armoyan earned a round of applause at Sherritt’s annual meeting in Toronto after stating that the company has good potential and is making progress in realizing shareholder value. It was a subdued speech by his standards that cast aside the bad blood from the proxy fight.

“We offered ideas; some have been accepted, some not. But we intend to remain active and involved shareholders,” he said.

Mr. Armoyan, the chief executive of Halifax-based Clarke Inc., launched his campaign against Sherritt last December, claiming the company’s directors were enriching themselves while failing to create value for shareholders. He wanted to replace three existing directors with himself and two handpicked nominees.

Ultimately, his efforts fell well short. All of Sherritt’s nominees were elected at the annual meeting, with each one getting more than 146 million shares voted in their favour. Mr. Armoyan received support from investors voting 54.4 million shares, while his other nominees got significantly less.

“We’re pleased to have it finally done,” Sherritt chairman Hap Stephen told reporters after the votes were counted.

Mr. Armoyan was facing an uphill battle, because rising nickel prices have driven up Sherritt’s stock price this year and made it harder for him to demonstrate that changes are needed.

While the proxy fight took up an extraordinary amount of time, Mr. Stephen said it was valuable because Sherritt spent a lot of time talking with its shareholders and absorbing their views. He said the company plans to keep doing more of that in the future.

For the rest of this article, click here: http://business.financialpost.com/2014/05/06/sherritt-international-corp-wins-solid-victory-in-proxy-fight-but-activist-george-armoyan-vows-to-keep-pushing-for-change/

 

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