If you are growing about as sick of David Einhorn and Greenlight Capital in his fight against Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) as we are, there is an interesting twist that took place on Thursday. We saw a report earlier today that one of Einhorn's actual investors has pointed out how Einhorn is very flawed or misguided in his attempts over Apple preferred shares and other efforts. Now the group claiming to be an Apple shareholder AND Einhorn investor has thrown up a press release calling on Einhorn to stop misleading investors and undermining shareholder rights.
The news does not tell David Einhorn "Shut the hell up already!" but it might as well. Bloomberg showed earlier on Thursday that Mr. Einhorn called this being from a former investor who redeemed in 2010. The Nathan Cummings Foundation shows that this is real on the group's website. Now the foundation has gone a step further and issued an anti-activist fight against Einhorn by issuing a press release over PRNewswire. It claims to be a shareholder in Apple and with Einhorn as a current investor through a pooled fund rather than as a direct investor.
We would not expect this to move Apple stock and chances are high that it will not change the resolve of an activist who has a beef to pick in a manner that has been so public against what is still arguably America's favorite company to cover.
Simon Greer, president and CEO of the Nathan Cummings Foundation said:
"As long-time Greenlight investors, the Nathan Cummings Foundation rejects the false choice offered by David Einhorn in today's investor call. Mr. Einhorn's comments clearly indicate his intention to hold governance reforms hostage to his efforts to draw cash out of Apple. This flies in the face of what we know about long-term value creation.
Today investors learned nothing about how Mr. Einhorn's plan would improve governance practices and long-term value creation. Instead, he chose to give a lengthy and spirited defense of his particular approach to issuing preferred shares. To be clear, we are not necessarily opposed to his ideas about preferred shares, which Apple management has agreed to give serious consideration. But why must shareholder rights be sacrificed to achieve this end?
There is a tremendous opportunity for shareholders to benefit from Apple's enormous capital reserves - and the way to do that is by improving governance and ensuring that shareholders have a voice by rejecting Mr. Einhorn's position. We continue to support the position of Apple management to reform its governance practices. This reform should be grounds for celebration, not lawsuits.
Today we have Apple trying to do the right thing for shareholders - and being told by Mr. Einhorn to stop. We see this as being fundamentally about control. Will shareholders be in the drivers' seat? Or will one individual billionaire decide everything?
As a former direct investor in Greenlight and a current investor through a pooled fund, we hope Mr. Einhorn will do what is right for Apple shareholders and withdraw his bid to deny Apple shareholders their rights."
Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Activist Investor, Corporate Governance Tagged: AAPL, featured