Actelion retains help in fight to remove board members

Switzerland's Actelion has hired Goldman Sachs Group and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz to help defeat an effort to remove board members, an unnamed source tells Bloomberg.

Wachtell is providing advice to Actelion regarding the effort by hedge fund Elliott Advisors, which has been demanding that Actelion open up about any M&A activity it may have been engaged in and review its assessment criteria. Elliott is its largest shareholder and wants the company to consider a sale. However, CEO Jean-Paul Clozel has said Actelion should remain independent. Elliott also has called for the resignation of Actelion Chairman Robert Cawthorn and for Clozel to step down from the board. The fund said it would propose those changes at the annual shareholder meeting May 5, as Bloomberg notes.

Actelion recently got support from Swiss investor Rudolf Maag, who holds 4.2 percent of Actelion shares. He said in a statement that he fully backs the biotech's standalone strategy, saying it "has a strong drug pipeline with a balanced risk profile and invests in the right projects," according to Dow Jones.

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