Ex-Arconic CEO targeted Elliott founder's alleged World Cup antics

Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:43pm EDT
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By Michael Flaherty

(Reuters) - The letter by Arconic Inc (ARNC.N: Quote) CEO Klaus Kleinfeld that led to his resignation earlier this week focused on the alleged behavior of Paul Singer, founder of $33 billion hedge fund Elliott Management, at the 2006 World Cup in Berlin.

Elliott, which had launched a proxy battle against the specialty metal maker, disclosed the letter to Singer on Thursday after German business magazine WirtschaftsWoche reported details of its contents.

"Quite a few people who accompanied you ... during and especially after the many matches you attended are still full of colorful memories," said the April 11 letter, which contains a signature and Kleinfeld's letterhead.

Kleinfeld resigned on Monday after Elliott brought the letter to the company's attention. Arconic, which separated from aluminum producer Alcoa Corp (AA.N: Quote) last year, said Kleinfeld did not consult the board before sending the letter, which neither side published on Monday.

The saga began late last year with Elliott's campaign to oust Kleinfeld from Arconic, saying its stock performance lagged peers.

Elliott, which owns a 13.2 percent stake, nominated five directors to the board in January and suggested Larry Lawson, former chief executive officer of aircraft parts supplier Spirit AeroSystems Holdings Inc (SPR.N: Quote), should run the company.

Arconic maintained its support for Kleinfeld, whom it said helped rescue the company in 2008 and was a key force behind the spinoff. He was Alcoa's CEO for eight years and then took the helm of Arconic after the split-up in 2016.

The two sides have engaged in a series of public announcements and videos refuting each other's claims.   Continued...

FILE PHOTO: Klaus Kleinfeld, Chief Executive Officer of Arconic, takes part in the Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit in New York, U.S., February 8, 2017. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson