Elan Corp., under pressure from activist shareholder Ib Sonderby, named Robert Ingram chairman to replace Kyran McLaughlin after voters at the company’s annual general meeting opposed his re-election.
The appointment is effective Jan. 26 and Ingram, who turns 68 today, will join the board immediately, the Dublin-based company said today in a statement. Ingram didn’t return calls made to his U.S. office seeking comment. Paul McSharry, a spokesman for Elan, said Ingram wouldn’t be available for an interview.
Danish investor Ib Sonderby, who owns 2 million shares of Elan, has called for new board members, questioning why the company paid Davy Stockbrokers, where McLaughlin serves as vice chairman, $2.3 million for consulting work. About 28 percent of voters at the company’s annual general meeting in May opposed the re-election of McLaughlin, who had been on the board for 10 years and served as non-executive chairman for five.
Ingram is the former chief executive officer of Glaxo Wellcome Plc and former vice chairman of pharmaceuticals at GlaxoSmithKline Plc. He has been a general partner at Hatteras Venture Partners LLC and has been an adviser to the CEO of Glaxo, the U.K.’s biggest drugmaker. He serves on the boards of Allergan Inc., Cree Inc., Edwards Life Sciences Corp., Lowe’s Companies Inc. and Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc.
Ingram was chairman of OSI Pharmaceuticals Inc. in May when it agreed to be sold to Astellas Pharma Inc. after the Japanese drugmaker raised its bid. Glaxo and Valeant developed the epilepsy drug ezogabine, which last week was rejected by U.S. regulators for “nonclinical” reasons.
UBS AG analysts raised their rating today on Elan’s stock to buy from neutral, citing multiple sclerosis drug Tsyabri soon becoming a blockbuster and potential late-stage data from its Alzheimer’s drug bapineuzumab in 2011. UBS also cited Elan’s deal with Johnson & Johnson over its Alzheimer’s portfolio which “significantly de-risked” Elan’s balance sheet and will allow the company to become profitable this year.
Elan rose 25 cents, or 6.4 percent, to 4.15 euros in Dublin. It was the stock’s biggest gain in almost six months.
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