Apple Says Greenlight Lawsuit Holds Shareholders ‘Hostage’

  @DavidZie on February 14 2013 9:51 AM
Apple
Apple store on New York City's Fifth Avenue Reuters

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), the most valuable technology company, has responded to investor Greenlight Capital’s lawsuit by charging that the firm is trying to keep its shareholders “hostage.”

In a filing with the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, Apple said Greenlight’s efforts to bar a vote on a bylaws change would serve the interests of Greenlight, controlled by investor David Einhorn, and not those of shareholders or the public interest.

On Tuesday, Apple CEO Tim Cook knocked the Greenlight lawsuit and its plans to oppose management as “bizarre” and “a silly sideshow,” repeating that the Cupertino, Calif.-based company is considering various methods of handling its $137.1 billion in cash and investments, including Einhorn's.

The filing said the Apple CFO had talked with Einhorn as recently as Feb. 6 about his plans to have the company issue $50 billion in new, preferred shares that would carry a 4 percent dividend. It also said the bylaw change dealt with general policies and was supported by governance supporters including the Calpers pension fund.

Apple also filed excerpts from Cook’s remarks about the Greenlight suit with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Apple's annual meeting is scheduled for Feb. 27.

Shares of Apple rose 18 cents to $467.20, valuing Greenlight's shares at $607.3 million.

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