Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Three brief items

1. Ackman on the board of GGP

It is good to hear that Bill Ackman, the principal of Pershing Square, has not been thrown into any funk by his recent defeat in the Target proxy fight.

On Monday, June 8 he became a member of the board of directors of General Growth Properties, another of Pershing Square's portfolio companies. He controls 7.5% of GGP's equity.

GGP is in bankruptcy, and Pershing Square sought last month to become its debtor in possession lender. That didn't work out, because GGP got slightly better termns from a group including Farallon, Elliott Associates and others.

For a skeptical view of a recent Ackman presentation on GGP, go here.

2. Providence Claims Victory over Avalon

The Providence Service Corporation announced Monday that, based on a preliminary vote count provided by its proxy solicitor, its stockholders have overwhelmingly re-elected Providence's two director nominees, Fletcher Jay McCusker and Kristi L. Meints.

The challengers, nominated by the Avalon Group received support from less than 2% of the shares held by non-affiliates of the Avalon Group and voted in the election of directors.

"We appreciate the strong support of our stockholders and look forward to moving beyond the Avalon Group's disruptive and distracting proxy contest and their self-interested agenda and returning our full attention to delivering on Providence's very significant potential and enhancing value for ALL Providence stockholders," said Fletcher Jay McCusker, Providence's chief executive.

3. Reform of Financial Regulatory System

This afternoon, POTUS will formally unveil the administration's new plan for regulation of financial services.

One of the key points is that the Federal Reserve will get greater control over institutions thought to pose "systemic risk" to the system. Also, the FDIC will gain new authority to seize and liquidate troubled institutions.

But some of the reforms that seem to many of us the obvious moves, like consolidating the CFTC with the SEC, aren't in the program at all.

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