Sam Wyly, the Texas billionaire who has spent millions on a campaign to
unseat the board of Computer Associates, yesterday scaled back his demands
in an attempt to win the support of the software group's shareholders.
Mr Wyly removed his name from the list of alternative directors he has
been seeking to have elected at CA's annual general meeting later this
month. He also reduced his slate of directors from 10 to four.
The climbdown comes after shareholders and corporate governance agencies
indicated they would not support Mr Wyly's original proposal, which was to
replace CA's entire board with his own candidates.
The compromise is more likely to win the backing of institutional
shareholders who are unhappy about CA's performance but do not want to
replace all of its directors.
Mr Wyly, who estimates he has spent about Dollars 10m of his own money on
the campaign, said he would continue to bankroll the effort. However, it was
unclear why he had withdrawn his own nomination.
Steve Perkins, an official of Mr Wyly's company Ranger Capital, who is
still seeking a board seat, said the revised proposal would give investors a
less radical alternative to replacing the entire board.
Corporate governance officials said the move would also put pressure on
Walter Haefner, the Swiss investor who controls more than 20 per cent of CA.
"I hope that this would provide Mr Haefner with an opportunity to
demonstrate both his loyalty to the existing management and his fiduciary
duty as a controlling shareholder," said Gary Lutin, an investment banker
who has been conducting an independent forum for CA share-holders.
CA could not be reached for comment.
Copyright: The Financial Times Limited