* EMS responds to activist demands
* Board is engaged in "thorough process"
(Adds background to the process)
By Nadia Damouni
NEW YORK, May 3 EMS Technologies Inc ELMG.O
responded on Tuesday to activist investor MMI Investments LP's
demands to hire an independent special committee to run its
"As we publicly announced, our full board is engaged in a
thorough process to evaluate strategic alternatives for EMS,
including a sale of the company or one or more of its
businesses," the company said in a statement.
EMS also said it has offered New York-based hedge fund MMI
an opportunity to be involved in the process alongside the
In MMI's most recent letter to the company sent on Sunday,
the fund criticized the current board's ability to manage its
sales process given their "weak track record in M&A" and
questioned the motivation behind postponing the annual
MMI also made several requests including the formation of
an independent special committee to oversee the process.
"While MMI is insisting that EMS establish a special
committee of the board to oversee this process, the board
believes that EMS's shareholders are best served by the full
board actively overseeing this critical process, which it
expects will include the review and evaluation of potential
offers," the company said.
EMS announced strategic alternatives on April 19 after
months of pressure by MMI, which owns a 7.8 percent stake in
the company. EMS said it had received inquiries from potential
BofA Merrill Lynch is serving as financial adviser, and
King & Spalding LLP and Kirkland & Ellis LLP are serving as
legal counsel to EMS and its board of directors.
(Reporting by Nadia Damouni, editing by Dave Zimmerman)