The marketing machinations and public political battles seem like something out of a movie set on Wall Street. But in less than two weeks, a stockholder vote will determine who controls a Southborough boardroom.
Sevcon markets itself as a world leader in electrification technologies offering innovative solutions to partners. Lately, a battle over control of the Southborough based business has been making headlines. Both sides released open letters to shareholders in an attempt to secure proxies in advance of the Annual Meeting on February 7th.
Unsurprisingly, both sides claim the other is distorting the facts.
A letter from Meson Capital President (also current Director of Sevcon) Ryan Morris claims that Chairman Matt Goldfarb and “entrenched” board members are attempting to oust stockholders’ “greatest advocate”. In the accompanying email to me, Meson’s PR firm claimed:
Current Chairman Matt Goldfarb, who owns no shares, recently led what is best described as a Board coup to entrench his role. The Company’s CEO Matt Boyle has been in place for 20 years. During this period most shareholders have seen little to no return on their investment.
In a letter to stockholders the Sevcon board countered Morris’ public attacks:
[Morris] has been, in our opinion, a disruptive and self-interested director who was removed from his position as Executive Chairman after only four months by the unanimous vote of the rest of your Board. Now we perceive that he is making false and exaggerated claims about his contributions to our success, his plans to improve our results that he has never disclosed, his role on the Board, and the motivations and actions of your other directors. Ryan also falsely claims to own 20% of Sevcon’s outstanding shares when, in reality, he and his affiliated entities own approximately 14%.
Meson Capital’s website lists its headquarters in San Francisco. And it describes its founder Morris as having “led or been a board nominee for a dozen activist campaigns since 2010”.
You can read news releases and letters from both sides through the links below:
- Meson Capital Partners, 20% Shareholder, Files Definitive Proxy Statement Seeking Three New Directors to Enhance Sevcon Board of Directors: by Meson Capital, January 17, 2017
- Bassi Holding Votes FOR Sevcon Board’s Director Nominees and Charter Amendment Urges Ryan Morris/Meson Capital to Stop Dissident Proxy Campaign: by Sevcon, January 25, 2017
- Meson Capital Partners, 20% Stockholder, Issues Open Letter to Fellow Stockholders of Sevcon: by Meson Capital, January 25, 2017
- Sevcon Releases Letter to Stockholders Urging Support of the Board’s Proposals at Annual Meeting: by Sevcon, January 26, 2017