Starboard loses effort to win seats on Huntsman board

Activist hedge fund Starboard Value LP’s efforts to gain a presence on the board of chemical producer Huntsman corp

HUN -11.07%

have failed

Starboard, which owns an 8.8% stake in the company, was seeking four board seats, but Huntsman said shareholders chose the company’s 10-person shortlist based on preliminary voting results.

Huntsman shares closed at $35.98 on Friday, down 11%. The stock is up 29% over the past 12 months.

The Wall Street Journal reported in September, citing people familiar with the matter, that Starboard had acquired an interest in the company and had plans to advocate for changes at the chemical maker.

In a letter to shareholders, Starboard said the company has made several promises to shareholders since its stake in Huntsman, primarily around adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.

In October, Huntsman also said its board had approved a $1 billion stock repurchase program that eliminated an existing plan. During the company’s Investor Day in November, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Peter Huntsman said the company will seek to take advantage of this authorization over the next two to three years.

Huntsman has also announced that it is embarking on a strategic review for its textile effects business.

In 2019, Huntsman sold two of its units in a $2.1 billion deal that spun off one of its slowest-growing businesses and gave it cash to expand its core polyurethane operations.

“Even though we are not on the board, rest assured that we will be watching with keen interest,” Starboard CEO Jeff Smith said in the shareholder letter.

Huntsman said the outcome of the vote was an endorsement of his portfolio strategy, but pledged to build on a high level of shareholder engagement sparked in part by Starboard’s campaign.

“While we had our disagreements with Starboard on the key issue of board composition, we appreciated the constructive dialogue we have had with them on this topic as well as several other business matters since their initial investment,” the chemicals maker said.

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https://www.wsj.com/articles/starboard-loses-effort-to-gain-huntsman-board-seats-11648226609?mod=rss_markets_main Starboard loses effort to win seats on Huntsman board

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