Apple shareholder vote on governance proposals blocked by judge
BY PETER SVENSSON Associated Press
Saturday, February 23, 2013
2/23/13 at 5:17 AM
NEW YORK - A federal judge is blocking Apple from conducting a shareholder vote on a package of governance proposals, handing a victory to a rebel investor who is trying to persuade the company to share more of its cash with its investors.
U.S. District Judge Richard Sullivan in New York ruled Friday that Apple Inc. was wrong to bundle four amendments to its corporate charter into one proposal for a vote at next Wednesday's annual meeting. Shareholders should get to vote on the amendments separately, he said. Although the ruling was preliminary, Sullivan said Apple was likely to lose. He granted dissident investors a preliminary injunction against Apple pending a full trial.
Apple will comply with Sullivan's order and withdraw the issue from the agenda of next week's meeting, said Steve Dowling, a spokesman for the Cupertino, Calif., company. It had appeared on the shareholder voting list as proposal No. 2.
"We are disappointed with the court's ruling," Dowling said. "Proposal No. 2 is part of our efforts to further enhance corporate governance and serve our shareholders' best interests."
Greenlight Capital, a hedge fund run by Wall Street maverick David Einhorn, sued Apple over the proposal because it would remove the board's ability to issue preferred stock without shareholder authorization. Einhorn wants Apple to issue preferred shares with a guaranteed dividend, as a way of committing the company to sharing its massive profits with shareholders.
Original Print Headline: Shareholder vote for Apple blocked