Michael Levin recently shared another UPC development — the second activist success story:
An individual investor, Daniel Mangless, owns 2.3% of Zevra Therapeutics (ZVRA), since 2019. Other than a few Form 13Gs for ZVRA and one other holding, the preliminary proxy statement for ZVRA was his first-ever SEC filing and, it appears, activist project.
He rather quietly nominated three candidates for three available seats on the seven-person classified BoD. ZVRA nominated the three incumbents, including the CEO and a director first appointed in November 2022. He also proposed reversing any bylaw amendments from 2023, which the ZVRA BoD could have approved but not disclosed to shareholders.
At the ASM last week, all three challengers won by a significant margin over the three incumbents. The bylaw amendment reversal also prevailed by a similar margin.
What’s a significant margin? All three activists won 80% of the votes cast, with the bylaw proposal passing with 84% of the vote. So, while UPC may have helped encourage the activist, it doesn’t appear to have impacted the outcome:
Shareholders didn’t see the need to split votes among incumbent and activist candidates, one of the features of UPC. All three challengers each received approximately the same votes, as did the three incumbents.
The other notable feature of this campaign was the activist’s particularly low expenses, estimated at $250,000.
– Meredith Ervine, DealLawyers.com, May 11, 2023