NEW YORK Jan 14 SPX Corp agreed to give
activist firm Relational Investors the option to put one of its
founders on the diversified U.S. manufacturer's board of
directors, after nearly a year of the fund pushing for change at
SPX and Relational said in a statement on Tuesday that the
investment firm can choose to put principal and co-founder David
Batchelder on the manufacturer's board over the period between
the company's 2014 annual meeting and 60 days preceeding its
2015 annual meeting.
In exchange, Relational has agreed to vote for SPX's board
"We are pleased to have reached this agreement with SPX and
are encouraged by the progress the company made in 2013,"
Batchelder said in the statement.
He said Relational believes the company should focus on
increasing operating profit margins, selling off non-core assets
and balancing growth with investment returns.
Relational is the company's largest investor, holding around
15.5 percent of its shares. The fund publicly announced its
stake in SPX in February 2013, asking that the manufacturer
consider strategic alternatives and stop making new
SPX announced a deal last month to sell its entire stake in
an electrical equipment joint venture to partner Emerson
Electric Co for $571 million.
SPX has been buying and selling businesses to focus on its
flow technology division, joining other diversified U.S.
industrial companies that have slimmed down their businesses
since the economic crisis of 2008-2010.