Ackman, other shareholders ask Allergan to call special meeting
By Svea Herbst-Bayliss and Caroline Humer
BOSTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Investors owning 31 percent of shares of Allergan Inc have asked the company to call a special shareholder meeting, activist shareholder William Ackman said on Friday, giving the hedge fund manager a victory in his fight to acquire the Botox maker.
Ackman, whose Pershing Square Capital Management is Allergan's largest shareholder, said 35 shareholders including some of Allergan's "longest-standing" and "largest" investors handed in paperwork on Friday to compel Allergan to call the meeting.
Pershing Square and Valeant Pharmaceutical International Inc made a $52 billion hostile offer for Allergan in April. Since then Allergan has been fighting for investor support for its own stand-alone plan that includes cost cuts and making an acquisition of its own.
Meanwhile, Ackman has been working to sign up enough shareholders and said that Allergan, under its bylaws, is required now to call the meeting no later than Dec. 20.
Pershing Square also said on Friday that it filed a lawsuit in Delaware to require Allergan to schedule the meeting, anticipating that the company would likely fight doing so. Ackman and Valeant's cash and stock offer is now worth $49 billion.
Allergan said in a press release that it would review the requests from shareholders in connection with Pershing Square's meeting request and expects to report the results promptly after its review.
Allergan also said that Ackman and Valeant's offer undervalues the company
At the meeting, Ackman hopes to replace the bulk of Allergan board members with his own slate of directors who might agree to the takeover deal and to force Allergan to open discussions. Continued...