Melnyk-Biovail proxy battle set for April 14

Fri Mar 28, 2008 12:15pm EDT
 
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TORONTO (Reuters) - The next round in a messy proxy battle between Biovail Corp's founder Eugene Melnyk and the drugmaker will be heard in a Toronto court next month after lawyers agreed to the date on Friday.

The proceedings are set for April 14.

Melnyk, who is the biggest shareholder of the company with about 12 percent, has accused Biovail and its chief executive Doug Squires of attempting to solicit proxies.

The allegations stem from comments Squires made during a quarterly conference call earlier this month.

Squires was responding to an announcement that Melnyk intends to propose an alternative slate of nominees for the company's board of directors when it holds its annual meeting in June.

Melnyk cites the firm's "unsatisfactory financial performance" and his "lack of confidence" in a recently announced strategic review for the dissident move.

Earlier this week, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said Biovail will pay $10 million to settle an investigation into fraudulent accounting allegations, but Melnyk and three other current and former executives still face charges.

(Reporting by Scott Anderson; editing by Rob Wilson)

 
<p>Biovail Corp.'s Chairman and founder Eugene Melnyk listens to questions after their annual general meeting in Toronto, June 28, 2005. REUTERS/Peter Jones</p>