They dialed, they talked, and they didn't agree to anything. Yes, Amylin held its promised conference with dissident shareholders (Carl Icahn's people and Eastbourne Capital Management, for those of you who've been in a cave for the last month). But no, they didn't settle their differences. Icahn and Eastbourne are pursuing their proxy contests as planned, at least for now.
Icahn and Eastbourne both are unhappy with Amylin's management. Each group has nominated a slate of five directors for the company's 12-member board, and as the proxy fights progress, accusations are flying. Amylin's lead outside director James Wilson said Icahn wants Amylin to sell out to its drug partner Eli Lilly & Co. "promptly;" Icahn claims he said no such thing, because today's prices for the company would be too low. "Quite the contrary!" he wrote to Wilson. "No one has ever accused me of selling cheaply."
More fuel for the dissidents' fire has cropped up, too. BNet Pharma is reporting that Amylin paid its top execs 10 percent more in 2008 than in 2007, despite the fact that the company posted bigger losses. CEO Daniel Bradbury got an 11 percent increase to $4.5 million. The rest of the team saw their base salaries rise; though they didn't take bonuses, they still made as much or more than they did in 2007 because of "other" compensation, such as pay for unused vacation days. Perhaps more to the point--because Icahn and Eastbourne say directors are overpaid--Chairman Joseph Cook made $424,000, and director Ginger Graham got $2.1 million. Anyone want to volunteer for Graham's job?