After investor Daniel Loeb left talks with Dow Chemical, the Third Point founder and CEO announced plans to solicit shareholder votes. This event is known as a proxy battle, which is by definition an event that occurs when a corporation’s stockholders develop opposition to an aspect of that company’s governance. The proxy fight focuses mainly on directorial and management positions, and Business Bigwigs has written previously on the relationship between Dow Chemicals and Loeb.
At the time when Third Point invested $1.3 billion in Dow, Loeb urged the business to split its specialty chemical business, criticizing its “poor operation track record.” Loeb had put pressure on Dow CEO Andrew Liveris in May of this year, arguing that the business is “under earning by at least $2.5 billion” a year.
Loeb has been recommending the company sell chemicals such as ethylene, propylene and more in the open market and less in the making of consumer products. “Dow’s integrated strategy,” Loeb wrote, “does not maximize profits.” He also states that Dow Chemical’s ‘integrated strategy’ is costing shareholders billions of dollars and executives should work harder to boost outcomes and transparency.
Recently, Daniel Loeb and his company have released their first-ever mini documentary about taking on Dow Chemical, called “Broken Promises.” The film is described as a “narrative detailing how Dow has fallen behind due to poor strategic decision-making by a Management team and Board best known for their track record of broken promises to share holders.”
At the bottom of the video posted on Vimeo, Third Point stated its intent to file a proxy statement with the SEC. “In connection with their intended proxy solicitation, Third Point LLC and certain of its affiliates intend to file a proxy statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) to solicit stockholders of The Dow Chemical Company (the “Company”).”
Dow has shot back, stating that Loeb has “little interest in anything that benefits the many long-term shareholders in Dow,” and also saw a boost of 14% in its quarterly dividend just last week. The window for nominations to Dow’s board open at the end of November.