Activist investor Standard General, which owns 9.7% of Tegna, filed a proxy statement aimed at convincing other Tegna shareholders to elect five directors it is nominating to the broadcasters board.
Standard General has been critical of Tegna’s management and its merger and acquisition strategy. It has asked Tegna to add its head, Soohyung Kim, to its board, but was rebuffed.
“Despite the current board and management’s protestations that Tegna’s strategy is working, under the current management and throughout the tenure of at least nine of Tegna’s current directors the company has significantly underperformed its closest pure play peers,” Standard General said in its proxy.
“The Company’s acquisition strategy, including almost $2 billion of purchases over the past two years, has yet to generate any meaningful increase in shareholder value, but just in the past few weeks Tegna's management has publicly announced its intention to ‘aggressively’ refocus on M&A opportunities.”
In addition to Kim, Standard General has nominated Colleen Brown, Ellen McClain Haime, Deb McDermott and Larry Wert to Tegna’s board.
“We believe that the addition of our five highly qualified, diverse and independent nominees to the Tegna Board is a critical step to ensure that Tegna is on the right path to maximize value for all shareholders,” the proxy said.
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