Dec. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Octavian Advisors LP, EnerCare Inc.’s biggest shareholder, is seeking more influence on the water-heater rental company’s board, saying management’s “strategic missteps” dragged the stock down.
Octavian is seeking a meeting to appoint four new members to the board, expanding the count to 10, according to a statement today from the New York-based investment firm. Octavian holds about 12 percent of Richmond Hill, Ontario-based EnerCare, whose shares have sunk about 40 percent since 2007.
EnerCare has spent almost two years rejecting the firm’s attempts to discuss the company’s strategy, Octavian Chief Executive Officer Richard Hurowitz said in the statement. EnerCare, whose sales topped C$200 million ($195 million) last year, adopted a shareholder rights plan almost eight months ago to block unsolicited takeover attempts.
“Potential buyers have been rebuffed by the current board in the past,” Hurowitz said. “We do not see how EnerCare’s shareholders are not better off with our additional nominees.” His firm also said today that it will attempt to replace the board at Balda AG, a German maker of plastic components.
Balda said in a statement today that it will consider Octavian’s request. Godhuli Chatterjee, an outside spokeswoman for EnerCare, wasn’t immediately available to comment.
EnerCare was formerly known as the Consumers’ Waterheater Income Fund before converting from an income trust in January. The shares rose 1.1 percent to C$8.92 at 2:05 p.m. in Toronto trading.
--Editors: Julie Alnwick, Elizabeth Wollman
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