Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Icahn, Genzyme Reach Agreement

Icahn and Genzyme had been waging a proxy contest in connection with the annual meeting scheduled for tomorrow, June 16.

Now, though, they have kissed and made up. Genzyme has agreed to increase the size of its board from 10 to 13. One of Icahn's nominees, Steven Burakoff, will fill one of the three new seats. Another one of the three new board members, Eric Ende, was a participant in the Icahn proxy solicitation. The third new appointee, Dennis Fenton, appears not to have an Icahn connection.

Fenton was the executive vice president in charge of operations at Amgen until his retirement from there in 2008.

But back to Burakoff. He is a cancer specialist, teaching oncology at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and leading the Tisch Cancer Institute at the Mount Sinai Medical Center.

Dr. Ende, a participant in the Icahn funds’ proxy solicitation, is a former biotechnology analyst with Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc.

Icahn made the usual gracious noises when agreement was reached: “I am always pleased when a proxy fight can be avoided. I believe Drs. Burakoff and Ende will add significant medical and financial expertise to the Genzyme board. I am also very heartened that the Genzyme board recently brought on Ralph Whitworth, a longtime activist, as a director, and announced that Dennis Fenton will shortly be added to the board as well.”

No comments: