One way or another, amicably or not, Paul Singer tends to get his way. (U.S. presidential elections are a notableexception.) After much bickering, ship-seizing, factory-raiding and civics-class-teaching, Argentina at last gave the Elliott Management chief what he wanted—plus 101% interest. He decided New York should have gay marriage, and so it did. And when Hess insulted him with the offer of just two board seats, Singer finagled a third by threatening to take five.
This history was not lost on Singer’s latest punching bag, Arconic, especially not after everyone not currently on Arconic’s board looked at the disaster that is the former Alcoa automotive and aerospace parts maker and sided with Singer. When the alternative is a humiliating defeat at the polls this week that gives Elliott and its hologram army total control of the company, unconditional surrender is the only option.
Under the agreement, Elliott will receive board spots for three of its nominees, while Arconic keeps three of its own nominees, with one current director stepping down….
Monday’s deal puts one of Elliott’s nominees on the board committee looking for Arconic’s new CEO. In addition, Arconic will consult with Elliott as it selects a new leader.
Larry Lawson, Elliott’s pick and the former chief executive of Spirit AeroSystems Holdings Inc., will be among the CEO candidates, the company said. Arconic previously questioned if Mr. Lawson could lead the company, citing doubts about his relationships with key customers.
The deal doesn’t require Elliott to sign a peace agreement that would head off future fights, as Arconic had sought in prior talks. But a future battle seems unlikely now that Elliott has picked six of Arconic’s 13 directors.
Of course, not everyone can see that rolling over and submitting is the only option. Take Akzo Nobel, the Dutch paint company. Paul Singer owns a not-insubstantial chunk of said company, and as a result thinks it might want to hear him out, re: firing its chairman and selling itself to PPG. Akzo begs to differ. This is what Paul Singer is doing about it:
Elliott, whose bloc of rebel investors owns 18 percent of Akzo shares, has demanded a court investigation into possible mismanagement by Akzo’s board and asked the court to force an extraordinary meeting of shareholders to vote on dismissing Chairman Antony Burgmans.