Bill Ackman, Pershing Square Activist investor Bill Ackman, who has been seeking to defeat three incumbent members of the board of Automatic Data Processing, has now wants to expand the board by three seats. Ackman's proposal became public this week with his filing with the SEC of a letter written to the board, which also shows he met with the ADP board recently.

"We left the meeting with the strong impression that we could work together very effectively to build on ADP's strengths to greatly improve the company's competitiveness, profitability, and growth" Ackman wrote. "To that end as we discussed in the meeting, it is our strong preference that we end the proxy contest and come to a resolution on governance.

Ackman mounted a proxy challenge last month through his Pershing Square Capital Management. At first, he requested the company extend to deadline for nominating candidates so the investment firm could nominate five. ADP rejected that also declaring Ackman's candidates were not as qualified as the existing directors and recommended shareholders re-elect the existing members.

The latter suggests he has strong support among shareholders. Ackman wrote, "We have met with a substantial number of shareholders over the past few weeks. They would strongly prefer that the company embrace its significant potential for improvement and that we work together in the best interest of the company and all of its stakeholders."

Bob Scott
Bob Scott has provided information to the tax and accounting community since 1991, first as technology editor of Accounting Today, and from 1997 through 2009 as editor of its sister publication, Accounting Technology. He is known throughout the industry for his depth of knowledge and for his high journalistic standards.  Scott has made frequent appearances as a speaker, moderator and panelist and events serving tax and accounting professionals. He  has a strong background in computer journalism as an editor with two former trade publications, Computer+Software News and MIS Week and spent several years with weekly and daily newspapers in Morris County New Jersey prior to that.  A graduate of Indiana University with a degree in journalism, Bob is a native of Madison, Ind
Last modified on Thursday, 07 September 2017
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