Stillwater Mining (NYSE: SWC ) says it disagrees with a shareholder advisory service's support of some of the board candidates put forth by a dissident shareholder. However, the company said in a press release today that it takes heart from some of the service's conclusions about shortcomings in the attempt by Clinton Group to force change at the company.
Platinum group metals miner Stillwater Mining announced today that in its ongoing engagement with dissident shareholder Clinton Group, prominent independent shareholder advisory service Glass Lewis has come out in favor of electing three of the slate of eight candidates Clinton Group is running, though it doesn't believe Clinton Group has "made a strong enough case that their nominees as a whole have superior skills or experience to direct the Company more effectively than the current leadership team.”
Stillwater said it appreciates the advisory service acknowledging the shortcoming the slate offers, but disagrees with the recommendation to elect three of the candidates, as it has the potential to turn over effective control of the company to a shareholder that only recently acquired just 1.3% of Stillwater's outstanding shares.
Stillwater chairman and CEO Frank McAllister was quoted as saying, "We disagree with Glass Lewis' recommendation to elect three of Clinton Group's nominees, but we are encouraged that Glass Lewis also identifies serious shortcomings with the dissident platform and slate as a whole. We urge shareholders to vote the white proxy to elect all of Stillwater's nominees, who are committed to serving the best interests of all Stillwater shareholders."
Proxy service Institutional Shareholder Services also weighed in on the board of director nominee issue last week and recommended voting on the dissident's proxy card, which Stillwater spoke against. The miner notes it has received the support of the United Steelworkers union representing its employees and the Good Neighbor Agreement Councils.
Stillwater Mining is the only U.S. producer of palladium and platinum, and the largest primary producer of platinum group metals outside South Africa and Russia. The annual meeting will be held May 2.