Apple chief executive Tim Cook made some pointed remarks about a lawsuit the company is facing from Greenlight Capital, which challenges an Apple proposal governing stockholder rights.
Investor David Einhorn, who runs the fund, issued a news release Thursday urging Apple to return more cash to its investors and stop a proposal that he said would “eliminate” preferred stock. The company already responded to the lawsuit and release saying in a statement issued Thursday afternoon, that it will “welcome” proposals but that it disputed Greenlight’s claims. Cook’s comments Tuesday added a little more commentary to the company’s position.
On Tuesday, Cook called the lawsuit a “silly sideshow,” a “distraction” and a “waste of shareholder money.” The executive said that Greenlight — and, by extension, Einhorn — had mischaracterized the board’s proposal. Common shareholders, he said, would still have to approve any actions Apple took to issue preferred stock.
He did, however, say that Greenhorn’s proposal to distribute stock with a higher dividend yield was “creative” and worth exploring futher.
Still, he said that the lawsuit was not something that Apple should be concentrating on. Cook said he, personally, will vote for the new proposal but that neither Apple nor Greenlight should waste their efforts on keeping up the argument.
“My preference would be that everyone on both sides of the issue would take the money that they’re spending on this and donate it to a worthy cause,” he said.