UPDATE 1-Ackman: Allergan rules on shareholder meetings onerous

Thu Jul 17, 2014 2:02pm EDT
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(Adds Allergan response, Ackman comment on financing markets)

By Rod Nickel

July 17 (Reuters) - Allergan Inc, trying to fend off a hostile takeover bid from Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc, has thrown up obstacles to a special shareholders meeting, its biggest investor said on Thursday.

Pershing Square Capital Management, which is led by Bill Ackman, is attempting to muster at least 25 percent support of Allergan shares to hold a special meeting that could replace most of the Botox anti-wrinkle injection maker's board, which has refused to negotiate with Valeant.

In a webcast for investors, Ackman said Allergan's rules for special meetings were designed to stop them from occurring.

The company limits special meetings to a small window during a given year and requires a high percentage of stockholders to call one, Ackman said. Shareholders must hold their stock through the date of the special meeting for them to count, he added.

The rules are "the most onerous special meeting provisions of any public company in the United States," Ackman said.

Laval, Quebec-based Valeant made an unsolicited cash-and-stock bid in April for Allergan and has since raised its offer, which is currently worth about $51 billion. Allergan has rejected the offer.

An Allergan spokesperson dismissed criticism by Pershing, which supports the takeover bid.   Continued...