July 14 U.S. drugmaker Vivus Inc,
locked in a proxy battle with First Manhattan Co, said paid
advisors of the activist investor had made misleading statements
and the company would be delaying its annual shareholder meeting
by three days so that the matter could be dealt with.
Vivus said the advisors to its top investor had made false
and misleading to shareholders regarding the recommendation of
proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) but
did provide details as to what the statements were.
It has reported the matter to the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission, asking that the regulator force FMC to
correct them, it said in a news release.
FMC, a New York-based investment advisory firm with a 9.9
percent stake in Vivus, has repeatedly criticized the company,
saying it badly mishandled the launch of its obesity drug Qsymia
and failed to land a large company partner with deep pockets and
a big enough sales force to help the drug reach its blockbuster
The AGM, which had been scheduled for Monday, will now be
held on July 18. Representatives for Vivus did not immediately
respond to requests for comment by Reuters outside regular
business hours. Representatives for FMC were also not
immediately available for comment.
FMC has proposed replacing the entire slate of nine
directors at the company's annual shareholder meeting and said
it would bring in former AstraZeneca Plc senior
executive Anthony Zook to replace longtime Vivus CEO Leland
FMC said on July 5 that ISS had recommended three of the
nine directors it had proposed for the board.
The decision to postpone the shareholder meeting comes a day
after Vivus invited three of the nominees proposed by FMC to
join its board, regardless of the outcome of the vote at the
QVT Financial LP, the third-largest shareholder in Vivus,
intends to vote for the full slate of nine directors proposed by
FMC, a source familiar with QVT's thinking said last week.
The investment firm, which owns a roughly 8.3 percent stake
in Vivus, according to its latest public filings, has come to
the decision because it believes that changes are needed at the
drugmaker, the source said.