Actelion board candidates set out their plan

ELLIOTT Advisors pushed back at the board of Swiss biotech company Actelion yesterday with a letter from its proposed board members.

In a letter from Actelion Shareholders for Choice, a lobby vehicle set up by Elliott, the six prospective directors said they would cut costs and bring better new drugs to market.

It said the board’s research and development strategy had failed, costs had risen and it had insisted on independent ownership that had not adapted to its circumstances.

“We believe that shareholder value is being eroded and will continue to be destroyed unless firm and decisive action is taken by all shareholders now to encourage comprehensive change to the board,” they said. They added that Actelion’s view that Elliott seeks a quick sale of the company was “completely untrue”.

Elliott has proposed to Actelion that chairman Robert Cawthorn and chief executive Jean-Paul Clozel step down at the annual meeting on 5 May.