Sotheby’s is not going quietly.
So far in its battle to ward off activist hedge fund manager Dan Loeb — who says that the company should sell assets and change its business strategy to unlock value — the auction house has made public statements, appealed to investors in letters, and instituted a poison pill.
On Tuesday it took the fight a step forward and released a lengthy investor presentation arguing that Loeb and two others supported by his hedge fund, Third Point, should not join the company’s board as they lack substantial experience in any businesses related to Sotheby’s.
The presentation also goes over Sothebys’ successes as a company and its potential for growth. What’s really brutal though, is its characterization of Dan Loeb as a slash and burn kind of investor. The kind that joins boards for 1 or 2 years at the most, has his way, and then leaves a company without a care.
It is especially critical of his “self-interested transaction with Yahoo!”.
Business Insider has rearranged the presentation to start with Sothebys’ argument against Loeb and its shareholder plan — that’s the juicy stuff anyway.
Loeb started getting involved with Sotheby's in August 2013. The company offered him a seat on the board amicably, but he agitate for three.
Plus, Loeb rarely spends more than a year or two on a board, and in Yahoo's case, took fat payout before he left.
Gabelli said that the Yahoo! payout smacked 'of greenmail,' in commentary about Loeb and Yahoo that Sotheby's includes.
The board, it argues, is doing just fine and is stacked with smart people who understand the business.
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