Here is another excerpt from a continuing series of not-so-love letters from hedge fund manager Daniel Loeb of Third Point to CEOs of companies in which he has an interest. This time it’s David Robinson, CEO of Ligand Pharmaceuticals here in San Diego that’s the target of Loeb’s anti-ardor:
We hope that you will not handle our request in the same dilatory manner as you have been handling the restatement of the Company’s financial statements.
Therefore, should we not hear from you within one business day of this amended filing, you will leave us no choice but to exercise our rights as provided by the Company’s bylaws and the Delaware General Corporation Law (“DGCL”), which require annual shareholder meetings. The Company’s annual meeting is substantially overdue – well past the 13 months contemplated by the DGCL.
… as the Company’s largest shareholders, we would prefer to work with you and the Board in a cooperative manner and hope that you appreciate that working with us is strongly in the Company’s best interest. We manage roughly $4.0 billion dollars, over 5x the Company’s entire market capitalization; the cost of our stake represents less than 2% of our assets under management. Aside from the legal and business merits of our position, we have the resources to fight and will not lose a legal battle. Such a conflict will only waste valuable capital and time that should be devoted to creating value for all shareholders.
While I’m a huge fan of the word “dilatory”, my favorite part of this note comes in the second paragraph that I cite above. I like the “I’ll squash you like a bug” part, where Loeb reminds Robison how teensy Ligand’s market capitalization is beside Loeb’s mighty assets. Sure, Loeb would never get away with using 30% of his capital on a single investment, but that’s not the point: Good fun financial threats are.