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Elliott wins ISS support in Hyundai Motor proxy fight

New York hedge fund Elliott Management Corp. has received the support of independent proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. in its proxy battle with South Korean carmaker Hyundai Motor Co.

According to a March 11 statement from Elliott, ISS recommended that Hyundai shareholders vote for both of the hedge fund's director nominees for Hyundai Mobis Co. Ltd., Robert Kruse Jr. and Rudolph von Meister.

ISS also recommend two of three of Elliott's director nominees for Hyundai Motor, John Liu and Randall MacEwen.

In addition, the proxy advisory firm recommended that Hyundai shareholders vote against Eugene Ohr and Sang-Seung Yi, who were nominated for management positions at Hyundai Motor. ISS said their addition to the board "will add little value in terms of diversity in experience and background," according to the release.

ISS also advised shareholders to support Elliott's proposal to improve governance at Hyundai, such as expanding Hyundai Mobis' board to 11 from 9 to make room for more independent directors.

"A reconstituted board might be better able to assess the real capital needs and determine an appropriate level of returns to shareholders going forward," ISS was quoted as saying in its report.

Elliott is also pushing for the appointment of Margaret Billson to the South Korean carmaker's board. Billson is a former divisional CEO at British aftermarket parts supplier BBA Aviation PLC.

A shareholder vote is scheduled March 22 to vote on all shareholder proposals at Hyundai group.

Elliott's announcement came shortly after Hyundai received the backing of U.S. proxy adviser Glass Lewis & Co. LLC in the proxy battle.