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WSJ Quotes Elizabeth Gonzalez-Sussman on Illumina’s Possible Divestiture of Grail

March 21, 2023

Shareholder Activism Practice Vice Chair Elizabeth Gonzalez-Sussman was quoted in a Wall Street Journal (subscription required) article on activist investor Carl Icahn’s proxy contest in an attempt to nominate three people to the board of genetic-sequencing company Illumina and force the company’s divestiture of cancer-detection test maker Grail, which it acquired in August 2021 to the dismay of many investors and before obtaining regulatory clearance. “About 80% of proxy battles generally settle,” Elizabeth notes, “and that is likely to continue given recent SEC rule changes mandating the use of a universal proxy card that might make it easier for dissidents to get one or more of their nominees elected. One potential settlement could include forming a committee, chaired by an Icahn appointee, to oversee a Grail divestiture.” She adds that “Icahn is a prolific activist and I think he’s going to put pressure on the company, and stockholders may push to see a deal getting done.”

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