Activist builds 9% stake in Olin, plans to seek four board seats

00:01 AM | February 25, 2020 | Robert Westervelt

Activist investor Sachem Head Capital Management (New York) disclosed a 9.4% stake in Olin on Monday and said it intended to nominate four directors to Olin’s board, including Sachem Head managing partner Scott Ferguson.

Olin acknowledged receipt of the nominees and said it maintains communication with all shareholders and welcomes “input that may advance our shared goal of enhancing value.” The company said it has had discussions with Sachem Head, and expects that to continue. Olin’s board currently has 12 members, and the company has not yet set a date for its 2020 annual meeting.

Sachem Head said in a regulatory filing 24 February that it will engage with Olin management, its board, and other shareholders on issues related to “the business, management, operations [including cost structure], assets, capitalization, financial condition, strategic plans, governance, board composition, and the future of [Olin].”

Sachem Head said it notified Olin on 24 January that it planned to present a shareholder proposal and nominate candidates at Olin’s 2020 annual meeting. Trading data included in Sachem Head’s filing indicates it started acquiring the Olin stake on 14 January.

“Olin's board and management team have been, and remain committed to, acting in the best interests of the company and all Olin shareholders, and, from this perspective, the Olin board together with its directors and corporate governance committee will review and consider Sachem Head's proposed nominees,” Olin said in a statement.

Sachem Head’s nominees include Ferguson; William Barnes Hauptfuhrer; Wendy E. Lane; and Alexander W. Nomitch.