Last month Engaged Capital, which owns about 1.3% of Framingham, Mass.-based HeartWare, said it’s prepared to launch a proxy war over the proposed acquisition of Israeli replacement heart valve maker Valtech Cardio. Engaged Capital nominated 3 candidates – Cardiovascular Systems interim CEO Scott Ward, Tornier CFO Shawn McCormick and its own senior analyst Brendan Springstubb – for 3 spots on HeartWare’s 8-member board.
Another activist firm, Hudson Executive Capital, said in a Jan. 15 SEC filing that it bought a 5% stake in HeartWare for an average price of $39.15 per share. Hudson Executive Capital was founded early last year by Wall Street veterans Douglas Braunstein, a former vice chairman at J.P. Morgan Chase, and James Woolery, former chairman-elect at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft.
HTWR shares plunged last week when the company said it can’t predict when its next-generation MVAD program will go back on line, after being halted last fall,
In November, HeartWare said it’s past the waiting period required to satisfy U.S. anti-trust regulations for the Valtech Cardio buyout, marking the final anti-trust hurdle for the deal, which must still be approved by the companies’ shareholders.
Material from Reuters was used in this report.