April 13, 2017 / 9:05 PM / 3 years ago

Innoviva to review costs, executive pay following Sarissa pressure

April 13 (Reuters) - Drug company Innoviva Inc said on Thursday it would undertake a review of its costs, including executive compensation following pressure from activist investor Sarissa Capital Management LP.

The news comes two weeks after hedge fund Sarissa Capital called for a sharp cut in the compensation of Innoviva’s chief executive and the board.

The review will be conducted by a special committee of the company’s independent directors and is expected to be out by third quarter of this year, Innoviva said.

Sarissa, run by billionaire investor Carl Icahn’s former healthcare lieutenant Alex Denner, has lately criticized the drug company’s cost structure as the two sides square off in a proxy contest.

The hedge fund, which owns 2.72 percent of Innoviva, according to Thomson Reuters data, in March nominated three directors to Innoviva’s board.

Shares of the drug company, whose annual shareholder meeting is scheduled for April 20, were marginally down after the bell. (Reporting by Divya Grover in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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