DECATUR, Ill. (DTN) -- Corteva, Inc. has come to an agreement with investment adviser Starboard Value LP and affiliates. The company announced on March 19 that four new independent directors will immediately join Corteva's Board of Directors and Starboard Value LP has stated it will support their nominations.
As one of the most active corporate agitators, Starboard Value sparked a call earlier this year for CEO change and addition of board members -- contending the company's operating performance could be "meaningfully improved."
Starboard Value is a New York-based investment group focused on investing in publicly traded U.S. companies. According to their website, the company "seeks to invest in deeply undervalued companies and actively engage with management teams and boards of directors to identify and execute on opportunities to unlock value for the benefit of all shareholders."
DTN recently visited with Chief Executive Officer James C. Collins, Jr., of Corteva Agriscience, where he addressed the Starboard challenges. Collins stated at that time: "Our Board has been actively engaged in constructive discussions with Starboard to come to a resolution that is in all stakeholders' best interests. We continue to work toward that goal, but in the meantime, my own energies and those of my team are entirely focused on maintaining the momentum we have built. Across the organization, we are focused on delivering on our industry-leading pipeline, leveraging our unparalleled route-to-market, enhancing our product mix, and advancing cost and productivity actions -- all actions that improve our ability to serve farmers. With our peers now reporting, we can clearly see our outperformance over the last year and we continue to execute well in the marketplace to deliver for our customers as well as our shareholders."
Find the full interview with Collins here: https://www.dtnpf.com/….
Three new independent directors proposed by Starboard -- David C. Everitt, Janet P. Giesselman, and Kerry J. Preete -- will join Corteva's Board of Directors immediately with terms expiring at the company's 2021 Annual Meeting of Stockholders to be held in May. Corteva has agreed to nominate these three for election as directors at that same meeting.
Separately, Corteva announced that Karen H. Grimes will also join the company's Board, effectively immediately. She will undergo the same expiration and election process at the 2021 Annual Meeting.
Three current directors will not stand for re-election to Corteva's Board. The addition of the four independent directors temporarily increases the size of the Board to 16 directors. After the 2021 Annual Meeting, the Board will be reduced to 13 directors, 12 of whom will be independent.
Post agreement, Starboard stated it would withdraw director nominations previously submitted to Corteva and support the board's full slate of directors.
Of the four new directors, three have strong ties to food and agriculture. More information on each can be found in the full news release:
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