September 6, 2016 / 10:31 PM / 3 years ago

CDK Global names two new directors after Elliott agreement

(Reuters) - CDK Global named two new independent directors on Tuesday in the wake of an agreement the automotive software maker struck with hedge fund Elliott Management.

CDK said Eileen Martinson and Stephen Schuckenbrock would join effective immediately, which expands the board to 10 directors.

CDK, based in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, has been under pressure from Elliott since May 2015. The New York-based activist investor has encouraged CDK to increase its share buy-back program and to consider exploring the sale of the company.

Elliott is the CDK’s third-largest shareholder, owning a 5.4 percent stake. Another activist investor, Sachem Head Capital Management, owns 4.5 percent of the company, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Last month, CDK struck a deal with Elliott, agreeing to add two new directors while the hedge fund agreed to a so-called “standstill,” meaning it would not push for changes at the company and its board for the next 11 months.

The two directors share a connection with tech-focused private equity firm Thoma Bravo.

Schuckenbrock was on the board of Compuware in 2014 when Thoma Bravo agreed to buy it for $2.5 billion after Elliott pushed the Detroit company into a sale.

Martinson was the chief executive of Sparta Systems in July 2014 when Thoma Bravo agreed to buy the software company. Martinson is still the Sparta Systems CEO.

Thoma Bravo has purchased at least four companies where Elliott has invested and agitated for a sale.

“As we continue the execution of our plan and implement our strategy to connect dealers even more closely to consumers, the combined expertise of Eileen and Steve will be a valuable addition to our board,” CDK CEO Brian MacDonald said in a press release on Tuesday.

Reporting by Michael Flaherty; Editing by Alan Crosby

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