Investors of US PC maker Gateway Inc have called for a change in leadership of the company’s board of directors and in its policies on acquisition offers.
Gateway, the third-largest PC supplier to the US consumer and SME market, said it was reviewing a proposal from an activist investor group that is asking for it to add three new board members. Currently, Gateway has eight directors on its board, seven of whom are independent.
The investor activists, which include Firebrand Partners LLC and Harbert Management Corp, own about a 10% stake in Gateway’s outstanding shares. According to a filing with the SEC last week, the group said three unnamed additional board candidates would help solve the inertia of Gateway’s current board.
They also said that if an increased board was not able to boost Gateway’s brand and channel sales, then the company should be sold.
Gateway, which posted a $7.4m loss in the second quarter, turned down several buyout offers in September from Lap Shun Hui, who sold eMachines Inc to the company in 2004.
The investors also asked Gateway to do away with its existing poison pill plan, which is designed to discourage hostile takeover offers.
If Gateway does not respond to its requests by tomorrow, the investor activists said they would pursue the matter, which may mean a potential proxy contest.
Gateway said it was reviewing the requests and would make a recommendation to its board of directors.
Separately, Gateway said on Friday that it had appointed its VP of finance Craig Calle as the company’s VP and treasurer. Calle spent nine years as VP of finance and treasurer at packaging products maker Crown Cork & Seal before joining the PC maker in June.