A report by a leading proxy advisory firm that sided with activist hedge-fund manager William Ackman in his attempt to win seats on Target Corp's
In a white paper posted on its website late Wednesday, Target cited what it said were flaws in the report by advisory firm RiskMetrics.
This week, RiskMetrics recommended that Target shareholders elect Ackman and one of his fellow dissident nominees to Target's board, saying the discount retailer could benefit from new blood.
Target noted the report refers to its atypical amount of real estate ownership compared with other big-box retailers.
In fact, however, Wal-Mart, Target, Home Depot, Lowe's and Costco all own a high percentage of their U.S. real estate and all own more real estate than most publicly traded REITs, Target wrote.
Target also said RiskMetrics wrongly paints it as resistant to change.
Target regularly adds fresh perspectives to its Board with the addition of new directors. Target has added six new Board members since 2002, including three added since 2007, it said.
RiskMetrics could not be reached for an immediate comment.
Ackman, whose Pershing Square Capital Management has amassed a 7.8 percent stake in the retailer, is running a proxy battle to win five seats on the retailer's board. Target is running a slate of four incumbent nominees.
Target will hold its annual meeting on May 28, and institutional investors often use opinions by shareholder advisory firms like RiskMetrics to determine to how vote in contested elections.
(Reporting by Nicole Maestri, editing by Maureen Bavdek)