Proxy advisers back Amylin dissidents' slate

Management at Amylin Pharmaceuticals started the week on an inauspicious note: Two more proxy advisers have pledged their support to dissent shareholders Eastbourne Capital Management and Carl Icahn. That makes three advisory firms that have studied the data and concluded that Amylin needs an injection of new leadership.

As you know, Icahn and Eastbourne each have proposed a slate of independent directors for the Amylin board. And each has enumerated a slew of reasons why the company's management isn't cutting the mustard, starting with a precipitous decline in its stock. Both of the outside groups, plus the company itself, have been sending out press releases and making SEC filings almost daily, in an attempt to bolster their respective positions.

Now, the proxy advisers Proxy Governance and Glass Lewis & Co. have come out for the dissidents, at least partly. Proxy Governance pledged its support to all five of the dissidents' board nominees, three from Eastbourne and two from Icahn. Glass is backing two of Eastbourne's and one of Icahn's. RickMetrics had previously stated its support for two and one, respectively.

In its analysis of Amylin, Glass & Lewis said that the dissidents "have successfully shown that there are serous problems at Amylin. ... Based on these consideratons, we believe that the current board could benefit from the participation of new representatives with a fresh perspective." Will the majority of shareholders agree? Stay tuned.

- see the release
- check out the Wall Street Journal story