Now that Marc Lasry has some free time, having resigned as chairman of Ozy Media because, well, you know, and having not won any more roles in the Biden administration than the Obama one because, well, you know, the Avenue Capital chief thought he’d occupy himself with a new hobby: activist investing. But like the poker habit that kept him from getting his diplomatic passport, shareholder activism is a finely-honed skill, even after you get a handle on the basics. And when it comes to agitating for corporate change, Lasry hasn’t even managed that.
Avenue Capital – the hedge fund run by Lasry, who is also a co-owner of the Milwaukee Bucks NBA team – bought a 17-percent stake in Diamond Offshore Drilling this spring with plans to install three of its people on the board to agitate for changes at the Houston-based energy company.
Lasry didn’t get a chance to make his case, though, because Avenue’s broker bought the shares in Diamond, but never transferred them into Avenue’s name…. Avenue said in a statement to The Post that Diamond is trying to renege on an agreement to hold an annual meeting where board nominees would be considered “by asserting a technicality.”
Well, a promise may be a promise, but rules are rules.
“If you don’t comply with those bylaws, you can be disqualified from nominating board members,” [Okapi Partners CEO Bruce] Goldfarb said. “The impact of this mistake can be frustrating and potentially costly….” Goldfarb, an attorney, said based on recent Delaware precedent, Lasry and Avenue aren’t likely to prevail. “But since he is deep-pocketed, he can pursue the issue,” Goldfarb added.
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