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Innoviva to review costs, exec pay after activist investor pressure

April 15, 2017

Drug company Innoviva Inc said on Thursday it would undertake a review of its costs, including executive compensation following pressure from activist investor Sarissa Capital Management LP.

The news comes two weeks after hedge fund Sarissa Capital called for a sharp cut in the compensation of Innoviva’s chief executive and the board.

The review will be conducted by a special committee of the company’s independent directors and is expected to be out by third quarter of this year, Innoviva said.

GlaxoSmithKline Plc, which has a 29.3 percent stake in Innoviva and is its biggest shareholder, said it supports the company’s efforts to deliver significant shareholder value.

Innoviva has a partnership with Britain’s GSK, and the companies submitted an application in November to market their new three-in-one inhaled lung drug for U.S. approval.

GSK also said it intends to vote for Innoviva’s board nominees at the annual shareholder meeting scheduled for April 20. (

Sarissa, run by billionaire investor Carl Icahn’s former healthcare lieutenant Alex Denner, has lately criticized the drug company’s cost structure as the two sides square off in a proxy contest.

The hedge fund, which owns 2.72 percent of Innoviva, according to Thomson Reuters data, in March nominated three directors to Innoviva’s board.


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