Starboard Value has nominated six directors to the board at Commvault, setting the stage for a second war in two years between the U.S. data safety and data administration software firm and an activist hedge fund.
Starboard on Thursday told the corporate that it is nominating six executives, along with Jeffrey Smith, Starboard’s chief, and Gavin Molinelli, a co-portfolio manager on the firm.
The New York-based hedge fund owns 9.91% of the Tinton Falls, NJ-headquartered firm, has raised its stake modestly from the 9.3% it owned when it first made a compulsory regulatory filing with the Securities and Trade Commission on March 30.
News that Starboard had constructed a position in Commvault helped drive the stock value higher over the last days, and it shut trading Thursday at $41.79, up 2.5%. Starboard’s average buy price was $35.76.
Starboard, functioned by Smith, usually seeks operational changes at the firms it targets. Starboard’s slate brings board, marketing, and CEO experience and contains Katherine Wagner, Robert Soderbery, Philip Black, and Todd Bradley.
The hedge fund started buying forward contracts in February and acquired common stock in March, based on a regulatory filing.
Commvault stated it tried to engage with Starboard about what skills the board is perhaps missing since learning on March 30 that the hedge fund had taken a stake.
In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Commvault stated its greatest priorities are the health and safety of its workers, taking care of its clients, and running its business.