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Hedge Funds Issue Open Letters

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Hedge Funds Issue Open Letters

Monday was a busy day for the hedge fund sector as several notable firms issued public letters.

Corvex Management To Williams' New Board Members

Keith Meister's Corvex Management is one of the largest shareholders of Williams Companies Inc (NYSE: WMB). On Monday, the fund wrote a letter to Stephen Bergstrom, Scott Sheffield and William Spence after they were all appointed to serve on Williams' board of directors.

Meister stated it remains his belief that Williams' board does not represent shareholders' interests, especially following a failed merger with Enterprise Products Partners L.P. (NYSE: EPD).

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Meister added that the board is "not functioning properly and that it is imperative to quickly populate the board with a majority of qualified, independent directors."

Starboard To Perrigo's Board

Jeffrey Smith's Starboard Value wrote a letter to Perrigo Company plc Ordinary Shares (NYSE: PRGO)'s board on Monday.

Starboard Value owns approximately 4.6 percent of Perrigo and is one of the largest shareholders. Smith said in the letter that he believes Perrigo's stock is "deeply undervalued," and actions could be taken to create value for the benefit of all shareholders.

For instance, Smith implored management to consider selling some of its "valuable" but non-core assets, including its prescription pharmaceuticals business.

"We believe that with the proper portfolio changes, significantly better execution, and thereby renewed confidence in management and the Board, the multiple should rightfully be in line with peers that also operate high-quality assets," Smith also wrote.

Sandell Asset Management To Bob Evans Farms

Tom Sandell's Sandell Asset Management wrote a public letter sharing its thoughts on Bob Evans Farms Inc (NASDAQ: BOBE) of which he is a long-term shareholder.

Sandell stated that he is "encouraged" by the recent comments made by Bob Evans' CEO Saed Moheni during the company's first-quarter conference call in which the executive confirmed the company "continues" to evaluate all options to create shareholder value.

However, the fund is concerned over a lack of transparency regarding its financial advisors and the overall process of seeking strategic alternatives, including a separation of Bob Evans Farms Foods and Bob Evans Restaurants.

"Recent remarks from certain sell-side research analysts appear to question the Company's commitment to consummate a separation and seem to imply that Bob Evans is engaged in a ploy to buy itself time," Sandell wrote.

Sandell's letter added that he believes a separation of the business could result in a valuation of $66 per share, which is approximately 65 percent higher than its current stock price of around $40 per share.

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