EBay Settles Shareholder Dispute with Carl Icahn
Published on: 10th Apr 2014
By: Ian Mansfield
Online auction house eBay says that it has settled a shareholder dispute with the activist investor Carl Icahn ending the proxy contest before the company's upcoming annual meeting.
Icahn is withdrawing both his proposal to separate the company's PayPal business and his two nominees to the company's Board of Directors.
However, Icahn's desire to see eBay spin off its payments division, PayPal into a separate company hasn't been entirely dropped, more just parked for future discussions.
eBay also agreed to Icahn's suggestion to appoint business executive David Dorman as an independent director to its Board of Directors. Dorman has a long background in telecoms having held positions at Motorola and AT&T, which could suggest that eBay may make more effort to promote its mobile services.
"We are very pleased to have reached this agreement with Carl, settling proxy issues and enabling our board and management team to focus our full attention on a goal every shareholder agrees on - growing PayPal and eBay," said eBay President and CEO John Donahoe.
Icahn has signed a confidentiality agreement covering any non-public information that directors and certain officers of the company may share with him. In addition, the company agreed not to adopt a policy precluding such persons from speaking to Icahn, and that it would advise them that they may speak to Icahn if they are willing to do so.
"Over the last week I have had a number of conversations with John," Icahn said. "We both strongly believe in the great potential of eBay and PayPal, and I have found a number of his ideas to be extremely compelling. However, I continue to believe that eBay would benefit from the separation of PayPal at some point in the near future and intend to continue to press my case through confidential discussions with the company."