Hedge fund Third Point and its intriguing leader, Daniel Loeb, yesterday continued their war of words directed at the management of Motley Fool Rule Breakers pick PDL BioPharma
Third Point is the largest shareholder of PDL stock, controlling 16% of shares. Loeb and Third Point have been lobbying for seats on the board of directors and the replacement of PDL CEO Mark McDade since March because of their perception that he has "destroy(ed) shareholder value."
This latest attack by Third Point (launched via an SEC filing seen here) lays out its case in more detail. Among new things, Third Point is accusing McDade of not notifying the rest of PDL's board of directors about acquisition discussions he held with a "large pharmaceutical company" and of promoting people to PDL management positions based on "favoritism" and "personal relationships" rather than for performance-related reasons.
Not being privy to all the details behind or veracity of Third Point's claims, I can't say whether McDade deserves to be ousted for these new issues. Some Fools make the case that he deserves more of a chance.
Just by listening to last quarter's conference call and how PDL's management made a much greater effort to explain its extravagant $100 million headquarters shift and the delays with lead drug Nuvion, it's clear that the increased oversight and criticisms by Third Point are having an effect on management's actions (which may be all that is needed to fix things in the future at PDL).
Being a former shareholder who sold his PDL shares after becoming disenchanted with the repeated delays with its drug pipeline and profligate spending, I like seeing Third Point's attempts to bring PDL's management to task for past actions if the current board of directors is not willing to do it.
Getting rid of McDade and his management team wouldn't necessarily solve such PDL problems as its slow pace of enrolling the Nuvion clinical studies and getting an Ularitide partnership deal completed on good terms. If Third Point wants to get more shareholders on its side, it needs to better outline who it would put in charge of PDL and be more specific about what changes it would make to rectify the issues plaguing the company.
One thing everyone including potential acquirers, Third Point, and the current management team seems to agree on is that shares of the drugmaker are undervalued at these levels. The trick will be to figure out how to best unlock that value and who will be leading the company to do it.
Looking for more Foolish drug stock coverage? Check out the Fool's market-beating Rule Breakers newsletter. You can check out all our recommendations as well as get access to our message boards and exclusive content with a 30-day free trial.