Newell Brands Inc. announced March 19 that it has entered into an agreement with investor Carl Icahn, who disclosed that he has a 6.86% stake in the company.
Under the deal, Newell appointed Patrick Campbell, Brett Icahn, Andrew Langham and Courtney Mather — all of whom were designated by Icahn — to the board of directors, effective immediately, the company said in an SEC filing.
Campbell was elected board chairman. Judith Sprieser and another independent director nominee yet to be named by Icahn are slated to stand for election at company's annual stockholder meeting.
According to Newell's filing, Campbell will join the board's audit committee. Brett Icahn was appointed to the finance committee and Mather was named as finance committee chairman. Both Brett Icahn and Mather will join the organizational development and compensation committee as well. Langham was appointed to the board's nominating and governance committee.
As a result of the appointments and expected nominations, the Rubbermaid products-maker said its board will consist of 11 people, 10 of whom will be independent.
In turn, Icahn has agreed to vote for Newell's nominees at the annual shareholder meeting.
On March 16, Icahn said he was undecided about whom he will support in the proxy fight between Newell and activist hedge fund Starboard Value LP. Starboard has, as of March 5, its own slate of 12 director nominees. Starboard said three of its nominees — former Jarden Corp. executives Ian Ashken, Martin Franklin and James Lillie — committed to buy a total of $25 million worth of Newell stock if Starboard successfully replaces Newell's board.
In addition, the maker of Sharpie pens added that it has expanded its accelerated transformation plan for the company, in order to gain approximately $10 billion of after-tax proceeds.