Insurgents grab two Amylin board seats

To hear Amylin Pharmaceuticals and its dissidents talk, it's a win-win situation. Both sides claimed victory in their fierce proxy battle, which wrapped up yesterday with a vote at the company's annual meeting. And to an extent, both are correct, according to preliminary vote tallies. The dissidents did capture two seats on the board of directors. And from Amylin's point of view, the dissidents only captured two seats, rather than the five they'd sought.

Amylin crowed that the election showed support for management's strategy. "Today's outcome affirms that shareholders have confidence in the company's plan to build value in 2009 and beyond, having apparently elected only two of the five dissident nominees." The company pledged to work with the two directors Eastbourne Capital Management and Carl Icahn forced upon it. Meanwhile, Eastbourne's founder thanked shareholders for "sending a strong message that the past results are not acceptable" and also promised to work "constructively" with the new board.

Here's how things will stand if the preliminary vote count holds true. Eastbourne and Icahn, which together own 21 percent of the company, will have two seats on the 12-member board. Those directors won't be able to exert control, but they will be able to lobby the rest of the board. The dissidents have been looking for a management shake-up--including a new CEO--and suggested an outright sale as well. We'll have to wait and see how it all plays out, but whatever happens, Amylin will be fun to watch in the coming months.

- read the Amylin release
- see the statement from Eastbourne
- check out the New York Times article