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Grace adds board seats at activist’s urging

February 21, 2019
Chemical Value Chain

W.R. Grace announced on Wednesday that it plans to nominate two additional directors at its upcoming shareholder meeting in a deal with the company’s largest shareholder. Henry Slack, Chairman of land management firm Alico, Inc. (Fort Myers, Florida), and Kathleen Reiland, Global Head of Strategy and Development at building materials maker Standard Industries Inc. (Parsippany, New Jersey), will be added to the slate of nominees recommended by the Grace Board for election at the 2019 Annual Meeting. The move expands the company’s board from nine to 11 directors. Slack is a former chairman of nitrogen fertilizers maker Terra Industries.

Grace’s says the decision was made “in collaboration” with 40 North Latitude Master Fund Ltd. (40 North; New York), which owns approximately 14% of Grace outstanding shares. White Tale Holdings, a partnership between 40 North and fellow hedge fund Corvex Management (New York), scuttled a $20-billion merger between Clariant and Huntsman in 2017.

“We have a longstanding relationship with 40 North and appreciate their perspectives as a significant, long-term shareholder,” says Hudson La Force, President and Chief Executive Officer. “Our recent investments to accelerate growth and extend our competitive advantages are producing results, and we look forward to working with Hank and Kathy to continue to deliver value to all shareholders.”

By Rebecca Coons

Source: Chemical Week

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