Elan chief won't fight a new conflicts probe

Elan chief Kelly Martin (photo) appears to be conceding to dissident directors on one point. The CEO tells the Financial Times that he won't stand in the way of a new investigation into possible conflicts of interest at the company. But that concession comes with a caveat.

And that caveat--that he won't fight a probe, provided the full board votes to launch one--makes Martin's conciliatory remarks look hollow. After all, the new audit of Elan's management originated with two independent directors added to the board after shareholders demanded change at Elan. The entire board comprises 14 members. And three of those members, as the FT points out, are involved in the very deals that need investigating.

The company's own investigation into the deals, which have drawn allegations of conflicts of interest, will be presented to the board later this week. Also up for consideration will be Elan's injunction against the two rebellious directors preventing them from completing their review of the company's governance, FT reports.

- see the article in the FT
- read the Reuters news