Elliott publicly pitches five director nominees for Hyundai
On March 7, Elliott posted videos to introduce five nominees as directors, who it recommended the two firms appoint to improve management, on its dedicated website.
“The proposed independent shareholder nominees are part of Elliott’s shareholder resolutions that it has put forward for consideration at the company’s annual general meeting,” it said in a statement.
“These resolutions are designed both to transform governance at Mobis and Hyundai Motor company and to right-size the companies’ over-capitalized balance sheets.”
In addition to appointing the five directors, the New York-based activist fund is asking Hyundai Motor and Hyundai Mobis to dole out $6.3 billion in a one-off dividends payment, claiming the two hoard funds unnecessarily and mismanage them.
In response, Hyundai flatly rejected the requests, saying it was sticking to its plan of paying less than $1 billion in combined dividends.
“The shareholders’ meetings are just two weeks away. Elliott is expected to press Hyundai harder to drum up support from other shareholders,” Prof. Kim Pil-soo at Daelim College said.
“If Elliott is defeated in the proxy showdown by a big margin, it might begin thinking on how to exit from its Hyundai investment.”
Chung Eui-sun versus Paul Singer
In the two separate shareholders’ meetings on March 22, Kim expects that Hyundai Motor and Mobis are likely to win the proxy war.
Early this month, Elliott, which is headed by Paul Singer, said that it holds a 2.9 percent stake in Hyundai Motor and 2.6 percent in Hyundai Mobis. Last year, it said that it spent $1 billion to snap up Hyundai shares.
If Elliott does not divest itself of the stocks, the fund is projected to keep taking issue with Hyundai Motor Group’s attempts to revamp its management structure, which Elliott claims is aimed at helping Executive Vice Chairman Chung Eui-sun take full control of Korea’s No. 2 conglomerate.
Chung is the only son of Hyundai Motor Chairman Chung Mong-koo.