Third Point’s Dan Loeb Attacks Yahoo! with New Website
Dan Loeb, of hedge fund Third Point, has started his own website, which is his way of showing Yahoo!, his latest activist target, that he’s web savvy, too.
This is certainly not your father’s activist campaign.
Third Point’s Dan Loeb has taken his proxy fight with Yahoo to the internet and social media. The hedge fund activist, which owns 5.8 percent of Yahoo’s stock, has launched valueyahoo.com
In addition, Loeb has created a Facebook page devoted to his efforts. Visitors to the website can also share content of the site with friends on other social media.
The graphics-rich website, which went live Monday morning, details what Loeb deems to be the company’s failures, highlights the background of his four Board nominees, and links to Third Point’s public filings and announcements detailing its case for why change is needed at yahoo.
It is Loeb’s attempt to show a tech company that he is internet savvy too.
“We created ValueYahoo.com for you to learn more about our intentions and each of Third Point’s Director Nominees for the Yahoo! Board,” the website states on its homepage.
In the latest development of his year-long feud, last week Yahoo!’s Board appointed three new independent directors, effective April 5, adding it would agree to a compromise that would include placing one of Loeb’s nominees and a mutually acceptable individual on the Board. But it rejected placing Loeb himself on the board, asserting it would not be in the best interest of the company and its shareholders.
In response, Loeb fired off a letter taking issue that Yahoo deems him to be a ‘conflicted’ shareholder since Third Point’s interest might be focused only on the short-term. “Only in an illogical Alice-in-Wonderland world would a shareholder be deemed to be conflicted from representing the interests of other shareholders because he is, well, a shareholder too,” Loeb wrote in the letter. “This sentiment further confirms that Yahoo!’s approach to Board representation is ‘shareholders not welcome.’”
I have to say I am a little disappointed in the website. I would have loved a section detailing Great Moments in Loeb Lambasting History, complete with his most memorable one-line zings at management.
Last year he referred to former Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz’s “abysmal performance over the last two and a half years.”
Several years ago he wrote the following to the board of directors of Salton, Inc. and its CEO, Leonhard Dreimann: “What is most astounding about the company’s apparent death spiral is Mr. Dreimann’s inexplicably insouciant attitude and the fact that he remains in charge.”
After lambasting the company for spending huge sums to advertise at the U.S. Open, Loeb wrote: “What is equally shocking as Mr. Dreimann’s poor management, behavior and the fact that he is awarded anything more than subway tokens for his transportation needs is that this Board of Directors has sat idly by while he lays waste to this company.”
Then there was the February 2005 letter to Irik P. Sevin Chairman, President and CEO Star Gas Partners L.P., where Loeb asserted: “Your ineptitude is not limited to your failure to communicate with bond and unit holders. A review of your record reveals years of value destruction and strategic blunders which have led us to dub you one of the most dangerous and incompetent executives in America.”
Maybe this section will be included in the 2.0 version.