>Date: Wed, 6 May 1998 18:50:36 -0800
>To: Headwaters Forest Coordinating Council <HFCC@lists.sanmateo.org>
>From: Mark Bult <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>Subject: NEWS: CalPERS to Maxxam: "Shape up"
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>Reply-To: "Headwaters Forest Coordinating Committee"
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> CalPERS urges changes in MAXXAM board elections
> Monday, May 4, 1998 11:48 AM
> SACRAMENTO, Calif., May 4 (Reuters) - For the second time in a year,
> CalPERS, one of the nation's most powerful shareholder activist groups,
> Monday called on lumber company MAXXAM Inc. (Amex:MXM) to improve its
> corporate governance practices.
> CalPERS, as the California Public Employees' Retirement System is widely
> known, on Monday said it sent a letter to the top 25 shareholders of
> Houston-based MAXXAM, urging them to vote for a proposal that would
> require MAXXAM to elect its entire board of directors annually.
> MAXXAM currently has a staggered system of electing one-third of the
> board every three years, CalPERS said.
> CalPERS, which owns more than 229,000 shares of MAXXAM's stock valued at
> about $14 million, was joined in the proposal by the Rose Foundation for
> the Communities and the Environment.
> "We believe this change is needed to increase the accountability to
> shareholders of the (MAXXAM) board," said James E. Burton, chief
> executive officer of CalPERS.
> CalPERS, the nation's largest public pension fund, manages assets
> totaling more than $140 billion.
> In a statement Monday, CalPERS noted Business Week magazine recently
> named MAXXAM's board the 10th worst in the nation.
> "Annual elections would allow closer scrutiny of individual
> board members and greater oversight of the board as a whole,
> encouraging the board, in turn, to engage in more active
> oversight and management," CalPER's CEO, Burton, said of the
> proposal regarding MAXXAM's board. In May 1997, CalPERS said
> its board voted unanimously to encourage MAXXAM to culminate
> the agreement to sell the 5,625- acre Headwaters and Elk Head
> forests to the United States and California for future
> A MAXXAM spokesman, in response to a question Monday about the CalPERS
> proposal, said he believed MAXXAM's current election system best served
> the company's shareholders.
> "We think it strikes the right balance between flexibility...and
> continuity and stability," Bob Irelan, vice president, public relations,
> told Reuters.
> MAXXAM shares, which have gained 44 percent this year, were 5/8 higher at
> 63 in late morning trade Monday on the American Stock Exchange, amid a
> broad-based market rally.
> Kaiser Aluminum Corp., which owns a 63 percent stake in MAXXAM, saw its
> shares slip 1/8 near midday Monday to 10-1/2 in trade on the New York
> Stock Exchange.
> Quote for referenced ticker symbols: MXM
> © 1998, Reuters
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David M. Walsh
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