|By Business Wire||
|May 8, 2014 08:33 AM EDT||
Save GrafTech, an investor group led by Nathan Milikowsky, a holder of over 11.2% of the common stock of GrafTech International Ltd. (NYSE: GTI), today commented on the proxy alert issued by leading proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (“ISS”) in response to a letter it received from GrafTech.
On May 2, 2014, ISS recommended that GrafTech shareholders vote the BLUE proxy card FOR Karen Finerman, David Jardini and Nathan Milikowsky at GrafTech’s 2014 Annual Meeting of Stockholders to be held on May 15, 2014. ISS has recommended that GrafTech stockholders specifically “DO NOT VOTE" on the Company's white proxy card.
On May 6, 2014, GrafTech sent a letter to ISS, which requested ISS "immediately publicly correct certain material misstatements and omissions included in ISS’s report." ISS responded to the Company on May 7, 2014 in a proxy alert, which refuted and debunked the points raised in GrafTech’s letter and reiterated ISS’s recommendation that GrafTech’s shareholders vote the BLUE proxy card FOR all three Save GrafTech nominees, Karen Finerman, David Jardini and Nathan Milikowsky.
ISS’s response also referenced a lawsuit filed on May 7, 2014 against GrafTech by former GrafTech director Michael Nahl, alleging the company in its proxy statement "defames and disparages Mr. Nahl by falsely accusing him of corruption, dishonesty, conflict-of-interest, and breaches of fiduciary duty in discharging his duties as a director of GrafTech."
On behalf of Save GrafTech, Nathan Milikowsky said, “It is no surprise that GrafTech would publicly attack the only impartial proxy advisory firm that met with both sides in this contest for not supporting its long-serving, incumbent directors in this contested election. GrafTech’s latest action confirms what we have believed and tried to present to our fellow shareholders all along – that the incumbent Board is focused on a campaign of obfuscation, rather than on improving GrafTech’s operations and delivering value to its shareholders. It seems as if their approach is to attack any person or entity that doesn't agree with them, even shareholders, directors and completely impartial advisory firms who have carefully weighed the facts.”
Mr. Milikowsky added, “GrafTech’s Board has a history of launching public smear campaigns against individuals who disagree with them, and we are pleased that Mr. Nahl’s lawsuit is seeking to hold them accountable for their actions. We strongly urge shareholders to follow ISS’s recommendation by voting for all three Save GrafTech nominees and finally unseating three GrafTech directors who have overseen massive value destruction and are willing to attack any person or organization who threatens their continued entrenchment. It is time for your Board to represent you, the owners of the business, and cease wasting your money on personal attacks unrelated to the performance of the business.”
ISS’s response to GrafTech’s letter noted*:
In response to GrafTech’s assertion that it is "highly misleading for ISS to refer to the Company as underperforming or as a troubled company":
- “The TSR analysis demonstrated underperformance versus the median of GrafTech's graphite electrode peers by 169 percentage points (ppts), 36 ppts, and 32 ppts, respectively, over the 10-, 5- and 3-year periods through the date [Save GrafTech] announced they would run a proxy contest. The 11-paragraph analysis of operating and financial performance, which begins with the observation that ‘The decline of the company's profitability, notably EBIT, EPS, Cash Flow, ROA and ROE, since 2008 is apparent,’ walks the reader through a trend analysis of these and other key performance metrics. The M&A Edge report to which the company's letter specifically refers also prominently features two tables summarizing key financial metrics and ratios, drawn from Bloomberg data, to illustrate this analysis.”
In response to GrafTech’s assertion that it “has not stated that Nathan Milikowsky has deep understanding of the industry or could bring significant strengths as a director” and that the Company’s acknowledgement of Mr. Milikowsky’s “financial acumen and deep understanding the industry” is “blatantly false and wrongly attributed to the Company”:
- “These statements in the ISS report were based on comments from GrafTech directors during the engagement meeting with ISS, and were recorded in contemporaneous notes taken by the research analyst during that engagement meeting. They are consistent with other company statements which are part of the public record, as when during the Q1 2010 earnings call the company's former CEO and current executive Chair, Craig Shular, observed to analysts and investors that Milikowsky ‘is a very experienced steel industry executive who brings very valuable business experience to our Board.’”
In response to GrafTech’s assertions that the statement that Save GrafTech “nominees Milikowsky and Jardini were responsible, as ‘…co-founders and managers of C/G Electrodes and Seadrift Coke, [for] growing that company from an initial investment of $6 million in 2003 to a valuation of $850 million at its sale to GrafTech seven years later’ is "materially misleading.”:
- “That two of the [Save GrafTech] nominees built a $6 million investment into a company they sold to GrafTech seven years later for $850 million is material to the credentials of these nominees, regardless of whether their growth strategy included strategic acquisitions. That the business itself was apparently so valuable these nominees were able, in the midst of the financial crisis, to secure additional loans from investors, also speaks to the credibility of their industry knowledge and experience.”
In response to GrafTech’s assertion that Mr. Milikowsky’s review proposal included a provision that he “could not be removed from the Board if – once again – he did not like or disagreed with the results of such review.”:
- “In an April 13, 2014 letter to current GrafTech CEO Joel Hawthorne outlining his offer, subsequently filed with the SEC and is available to all shareholders, Milikowsky stated unequivocally that "Should the law firm conclude that I do not [meet GrafTech's standards for membership on the Board of Directors], I would promptly resign."
In response to GrafTech’s criticism that ISS’s commentary on the Special Committee investigation and subsequent settlement proposals "conspicuously omits any description, timeline, or discussion of key events.":
- “ISS elected not to reproduce chapter and verse of the company's version of events. Instead, as the ISS reports made clear, ISS elected to highlight for clients the proposals each side has made to resolve this impasse through independent third party review, and what the details of those proposals suggest about the relative confidence each side has in what the evidence will show.”
Save GrafTech’s proxy statement and presentation are available at www.sec.gov and www.SaveGrafTech.com. Save GrafTech urges shareholders to vote the BLUE proxy card FOR all three of Save GrafTech’s director nominees today.
* Permission to use quotations neither sought nor obtained
Your Vote Is Important, No Matter How Many Shares You Own.
If you have questions about how to vote your shares on the BLUE proxy card,
or need additional assistance, please contact the firm assisting us in the proxy solicitation:
D.F. King & Co., Inc.
Shareholders Call Toll-Free: (800) 628-8532
Banks and Brokers Call Collect: (212) 269-5550
Email: [email protected]
WE URGE YOU NOT TO SIGN ANY WHITE PROXY CARD SENT TO YOU BY GRAFTECH
On April 15, 2014 Nathan Milikowsky, Daniel Milikowsky, NM GTI Investments LLC, The Daniel Milikowsky Family Holdings, LLC, The Daniel and Sharon Milikowsky Family Foundation, Inc., and The Rebecca and Nathan Milikowsky Family Foundation (collectively, “Save GrafTech”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) and began distributing to the stockholders of GrafTech International, Ltd. (the “Company”) a definitive proxy statement and form of proxy (the “Proxy Statement”) in connection with the Company’s 2014 annual meeting of stockholders. SAVE GRAFTECH STRONGLY ADVISES ALL STOCKHOLDERS OF THE COMPANY TO REFER TO THE PROXY STATEMENT BECAUSE IT CONTAINS IMPORTANT INFORMATION, INCLUDING INFORMATION RELATING TO THE SAVE GRAFTECH’S PARTICIPANTS IN SUCH PROXY SOLICITATION. SAVE GRAFTECH’S PROXY STATEMENT, AS FILED, AND ANY FURTHER AMENDMENTS, SUPPLEMENTS OR OTHER RELEVANT PROXY SOLICITATION DOCUMENTS ARE AVAILABLE AT NO CHARGE ON THE SEC’S WEB SITE AT WWW.SEC.GOV, OR BY CONTACTING D.F. KING & CO., INC. BY TELEPHONE AT THE FOLLOWING NUMBERS: BANKS AND BROKERS CALL COLLECT: (212) 269-5550 AND ALL OTHERS, INCLUDING SHAREHOLDERS, CALL TOLL-FREE: (800) 628-8532.
Most companies are adopting or evaluating container technology - Docker in particular - to speed up application deployment, drive down cost, ease management and make application delivery more flexible overall. As with most new architectures, this dream takes a lot of work to become a reality. Even when you do get your application componentized enough and packaged properly, there are still challenges for DevOps teams to making the shift to continuous delivery and achieving that reduction in cost ...
Mar. 30, 2017 07:15 AM EDT Reads: 443
Why do your mobile transformations need to happen today? Mobile is the strategy that enterprise transformation centers on to drive customer engagement. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Roger Woods, Director, Mobile Product & Strategy – Adobe Marketing Cloud, covered key IoT and mobile trends that are forcing mobile transformation, key components of a solid mobile strategy and explored how brands are effectively driving mobile change throughout the enterprise.
Mar. 30, 2017 06:00 AM EDT Reads: 3,136
After more than five years of DevOps, definitions are evolving, boundaries are expanding, ‘unicorns’ are no longer rare, enterprises are on board, and pundits are moving on. Can we now look at an evolution of DevOps? Should we? Is the foundation of DevOps ‘done’, or is there still too much left to do? What is mature, and what is still missing? What does the next 5 years of DevOps look like? In this Power Panel at DevOps Summit, moderated by DevOps Summit Conference Chair Andi Mann, panelists l...
Mar. 30, 2017 05:00 AM EDT Reads: 10,095
Virtualization over the past years has become a key strategy for IT to acquire multi-tenancy, increase utilization, develop elasticity and improve security. And virtual machines (VMs) are quickly becoming a main vehicle for developing and deploying applications. The introduction of containers seems to be bringing another and perhaps overlapped solution for achieving the same above-mentioned benefits. Are a container and a virtual machine fundamentally the same or different? And how? Is one techn...
Mar. 30, 2017 04:45 AM EDT Reads: 3,338
My team embarked on building a data lake for our sales and marketing data to better understand customer journeys. This required building a hybrid data pipeline to connect our cloud CRM with the new Hadoop Data Lake. One challenge is that IT was not in a position to provide support until we proved value and marketing did not have the experience, so we embarked on the journey ourselves within the product marketing team for our line of business within Progress. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Sum...
Mar. 30, 2017 04:45 AM EDT Reads: 3,365
Keeping pace with advancements in software delivery processes and tooling is taxing even for the most proficient organizations. Point tools, platforms, open source and the increasing adoption of private and public cloud services requires strong engineering rigor - all in the face of developer demands to use the tools of choice. As Agile has settled in as a mainstream practice, now DevOps has emerged as the next wave to improve software delivery speed and output. To make DevOps work, organization...
Mar. 30, 2017 04:15 AM EDT Reads: 2,277
MongoDB Atlas leverages VPC peering for AWS, a service that allows multiple VPC networks to interact. This includes VPCs that belong to other AWS account holders. By performing cross account VPC peering, users ensure networks that host and communicate their data are secure. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Jay Gordon, a Developer Advocate at MongoDB, will explain how to properly architect your VPC using existing AWS tools and then peer with your MongoDB Atlas cluster. He'll discuss the secur...
Mar. 30, 2017 04:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,000
Without a clear strategy for cost control and an architecture designed with cloud services in mind, costs and operational performance can quickly get out of control. To avoid multiple architectural redesigns requires extensive thought and planning. Boundary (now part of BMC) launched a new public-facing multi-tenant high resolution monitoring service on Amazon AWS two years ago, facing challenges and learning best practices in the early days of the new service.
Mar. 30, 2017 04:00 AM EDT Reads: 3,278
Niagara Networks exhibited at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which took place at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, in November 2016. Niagara Networks offers the highest port-density systems, and the most complete Next-Generation Network Visibility systems including Network Packet Brokers, Bypass Switches, and Network TAPs.
Mar. 30, 2017 03:45 AM EDT Reads: 3,489
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a client-oriented software development company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex softw...
Mar. 30, 2017 02:15 AM EDT Reads: 4,150
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm.
Mar. 30, 2017 01:30 AM EDT Reads: 2,662
What sort of WebRTC based applications can we expect to see over the next year and beyond? One way to predict development trends is to see what sorts of applications startups are building. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Arin Sime, founder of WebRTC.ventures, will discuss the current and likely future trends in WebRTC application development based on real requests for custom applications from real customers, as well as other public sources of information,
Mar. 30, 2017 01:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,263
DevOps tends to focus on the relationship between Dev and Ops, putting an emphasis on the ops and application infrastructure. But that’s changing with microservices architectures. In her session at DevOps Summit, Lori MacVittie, Evangelist for F5 Networks, will focus on how microservices are changing the underlying architectures needed to scale, secure and deliver applications based on highly distributed (micro) services and why that means an expansion into “the network” for DevOps.
Mar. 30, 2017 01:00 AM EDT Reads: 8,360
In his session at Cloud Expo, Alan Winters, an entertainment executive/TV producer turned serial entrepreneur, will present a success story of an entrepreneur who has both suffered through and benefited from offshore development across multiple businesses: The smart choice, or how to select the right offshore development partner Warning signs, or how to minimize chances of making the wrong choice Collaboration, or how to establish the most effective work processes Budget control, or how to max...
Mar. 30, 2017 12:45 AM EDT Reads: 762
Interoute has announced the integration of its Global Cloud Infrastructure platform with Rancher Labs’ container management platform, Rancher. This approach enables enterprises to accelerate their digital transformation and infrastructure investments. Matthew Finnie, Interoute CTO commented “Enterprises developing and building apps in the cloud and those on a path to Digital Transformation need Digital ICT Infrastructure that allows them to build, test and deploy faster than ever before. The int...
Mar. 30, 2017 12:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,565