February 22, 2018

Bill Ackman Pushing for Board Seats to Control ADP

05 August 2017, 12:36 | Frank Carlson

Bill Ackman

Bill Ackman

"However, ADP has a clearly defined Board nomination process, and the 2017 deadline for director nominations has been public for almost a year", the company said. The investor is also planning to push for margin improvements, but didn't mention plans for a major financial overhaul, they said.

The company says while it's open to "constructive criticism", the 2017 deadline has been public for a year and changing it would not be in the best interests of shareholders.

"ADP has a clearly defined Board nomination process, and the 2017 deadline for director nominations has been public for almost a year", the company sniffed in a statement.

The current board has "an effective balance of leadership continuity and fresh perspectives" that will help ADP to further its goals, said the statement.

ADP defended Rodriguez while taking a shot at Ackman.

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New York-based Pershing Square typically buys large stakes in a handful of big companies and agitates executives and directors to make changes to boost shareholder returns.

"Rodriguez has very broad-based investor support and has factually delivered very compelling returns for shareholders so Pershing Square faces an uphill battle in this case", said Bernstein Research analyst Lisa Ellis. Friday's statement comes after Bloomberg first reported last week that Ackman had built a stake in the firm. It also wants Carlos Rodriguez, who has been ADP's CEO for almost six years, out.

Shares of ADP are up 2.5% at $114.50 in premarket trading Friday. Pershing Square was reportedly offered 11.10 to 11.40 each for shares that, at their late 2015 high, traded at 263.81. The company has a market value of $50 billion.

Pershing Square is said to have acquired an 8 percent stake in ADP through derivatives, which are not subject to the same disclosure requirements as stock.

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