AOL released a statement today explaining their proxy battle with activist shareholder, Starboard has come to an end.
Today, all of their board members have been re-elected for another term signifying that indeed, none of Starboard’s nominations were welcome additions to the AOL team.
Business Insider published a formal statement from the company:
“On behalf of AOL’s Board and management team, we want to thank our stockholders for their strong support throughout this process. Over the past few months, we have met with many of our stockholders and greatly appreciate their feedback as well as their commitment to AOL. We intend to be responsive to the messages we heard from our investors and will continue our plans to pursue adding two new independent directors to the Board, who we believe will add additional expertise and relevant perspectives to further enhance the strength of our Board. Today’s outcome reaffirms our strong belief that AOL has the right strategy and team to successfully execute on our plan to continue to deliver enhanced value for all stockholders.”
You might recall that Starboard issued several activist letters stating that they didn’t appreciate AOL’s efforts to unlock shareholder value and also requested they be allowed to nominate some more appropriate members to the AOL board of directors.
Of course, this didn’t sit well with many of the AOL shareholders or CEO Tim Armstrong, who blatantly spoke out against Starboard informing them their nominees were unqualified and unwelcome. The recent re-election of AOL’s current board is a strong testament to Armstrong’s sentiments and a gesture of allegiance by the majority of AOL shareholders.
A recent deal with Microsoft brought over a billion dollars for AOL and now that Starboard is off their back, they plan to divide those funds up amongst shareholders in the most tax efficient way.
Armstrong claims that brands are going to play an integral part in refining and growing the company in the future, and he hopes to bring them back to profitability by 2013. He also has a goal of connecting brand advertising directly to local advertising. In any event, the future looks a lot brighter for AOL than it did three years ago.