Mergers & Acquisitions
Nation’s Third Largest Proxy Advisor Withdraws Support of El-Paso Acquisition
In last week’s news roundup we wrote about the Kinder Morgan Acquisition of the El-Paso Corporation, noting that Delaware judge Leo Strine begrudgingly refused to issue a preliminary injunction, which would have enjoined a shareholder vote on the matter. Now, Egan Jones Proxy Services, the nation’s third largest proxy adviser, has reversed its position on the sale. Previously Egan Jones was recommending that shareholders approve the acquisition, but after Chancellor Strine’s opinion, which noted Goldman Sach’s conflict of interest in the deal, Egan Jones is recommending that shareholders vote against the acquisition. However, the nation’s two largest proxy services continue to recommend to shareholders that they vote in favor of the acquisition.
Long-Time Microsoft Employee to Become Activision CFO
Dennis Durkin, 41, is leaving Microsoft to become CFO of Activision Blizzard, Inc. Durkin’s most recent position at Microsoft was Corporate Vice President, Chief Operating and Financial Officer of Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business. Durkin had been with the tech giant since 1999. The 8-K that Activision filed last Thursday provides the details of Durkin’s executive employment agreement. Durkin received a $1.25 million sign-on bonus, and is set to receive a base salary of $650,000, which is subject to a 5% annual increase. Additionally Durkin may receive an annual performance bonus of 100% of his base salary.
Institutional Venture Partners Plans to Raise Near $1 Billion for Next Fund
Institutional Venture Partners (“IVP”), a later-stage venture capital firm that has invested in the likes of Zynga, Twitter, and Living Social, is reportedly planning on raising $750 million – $1 billion for its next fund. 2011 was a great year for many VC’s invested in tech, as it was the biggest year in Internet IPO’s in a decade. That VC firm’s are seeking these kinds of rounds for investment in tech companies is a great sign for the tech industry.
Fred Wilson to Write Series on Boards of Directors
Fred Wilson, one of my favorite bloggers, is starting a weekly series on boards of directors. Fred is a New York-based venture capitalist, and is principal for Union Square Ventures. On Monday he published his first post in this series, which discusses the role and responsibilities of directors.