In July Ramius Capital disclosed an activist holding in Aviat Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ:AVNW). I thought then, and continue to think, the opportunity described by Ramius in the letter annexed to the 13D is compelling (outlined in the original post here).
AVNW has announced that it has settled with Ramius and will nominate to the board a director candidate recommended by Ramius. Here’s the announcement:
Aviat Networks Announces Settlement Agreement With Ramius LLC
Company to nominate one candidate recommended by Ramius to serve on Board of Directors
SANTA CLARA, Calif., Sept. 15 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Aviat Networks, Inc. (“Aviat,” Nasdaq: AVNW), a leading wireless expert in advanced IP network migration, today announced that it has reached a settlement agreement with Ramius Value and Opportunity Advisors LLC, a subsidiary of Ramius LLC (together with its affiliates, “Ramius”).
Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Aviat Networks will include one candidate recommended by Ramius as a nominee on management’s slate for election at the Annual Meeting. The nominee would serve as an independent director of the Company. Aviat Network’s Board of Directors will consist of eight directors, seven of which will be independent. The Aviat Networks 2010 Annual Meeting will be held on November 9, 2010, at the Company’s headquarters in Santa Clara, California. Ramius, which beneficially owns approximately 7.6% of Aviat Networks’ outstanding shares, has agreed to vote its shares in favor of each of the Board’s nominees at the 2010 Annual Meeting and has agreed to certain, limited standstill restrictions.
“We believe that open dialogue with our shareholders is essential as we continue to execute our restructuring plan and outline our strategic vision for Aviat Networks,” said Chuck Kissner, Chairman and CEO of Aviat Networks. “Ramius is an important investor and we believe that this agreement aligns the interests of management and all of Aviat Networks’ shareholders. We expect the Ramius nominee will be an asset to the Company and we look forward to working with him as we continue building out a platform to drive sustainable, profitable revenue growth and enhanced shareholder value through innovation, prudent cost management and operational excellence.”
Peter A. Feld, Managing Director of Ramius, added, “We are pleased to have worked constructively with Aviat Networks with the shared goal of enhancing value for all shareholders. With the recently announced management change and cost reduction initiatives, we believe the Company is on track to significantly improve operating performance and profitability. We are confident that our nominee will provide valuable insight as the Company drives towards the goal of generating profitable growth.”
I hold AVNW.
Hat tip Oozing Alpha