After successfully forcing Apple to do a last-minute edit of its agenda for this week’s annual shareholders meeting, activist investor David Einhorn has withdrawn his legal assault aimed at getting the tech giant to share more of its huge cash dividend with investors.
When a federal judge sided with Einhorn and ordered Apple to remove a company-sponsored proposal to put any vote for a preferred dividend up to a full vote before all shareholders, the meeting went forward with the redacted proxy. Einhorn didn’t attend the gathering, other investors trashed him during the meeting’s comment section, and CEO Tim Cook took another shot at the hedge-fund operator, now something of a persona non grata around One Infinite Loop.
“I strongly believe it was a silly sideshow, regardless of how the judge ruled,” Cook said. However, he did later add, “I don’t think the issue of returning cash to shareholders is silly — we’re seriously considering it.”
A judge issued a temporary injunction against the vote last week, ruling that the suit by Einhorn and a separate lawsuit from another investor were likely to succeed because Apple had bundled the proposal with two others and were asking shareholders to issue one vote for all three proposals.
Reuters reported that Einhorn officially deep-sixed his lawsuit on Friday. Now we’ll have to wait until next February to see what else he’s got up his sleeve.