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Newell Brands Strikes Deal With Carl Icahn

Newell Brands has named four new members to its board of directors as part of an agreement with billionaire investor Carl Icahn, who owns 6.9% of the company’s shares.

As part of the agreement, Newell Brands has agreed to appoint four Icahn designees to the board effective immediately: Patrick Campbell, Brett Icahn, Andrew Langham and Courtney Mather, with Campbell elected to serve as the new chairman of the board.

These designees will serve alongside James Craigie, Debra Crew, Michael Polk, Steven Strobel and Michael Todman on the Newell Brands board of directors. In addition, Judith Sprieser and another independent director nominee to be designated by Icahn, and approved by the board, will be nominated to stand for election at the 2018 annual meeting.

As part of the agreement, Icahn has agreed to vote all of his shares in favor of the Newell Brands nominees at the 2018 annual meeting of stockholders.

“We are pleased to have reached this agreement with the Newell Brands board and I am confident that the entire company will benefit from the fresh perspectives of these new directors,” Icahn said in a statement. “This company has a great stable of brands, and I believe a streamlined consumer-facing portfolio will help the company focus on the most important businesses and reignite the performance in their core businesses.”

The company had been under pressure in recent weeks by activist investor Starboard Value that was looking to replace Newell CEO Michael Polk and the entire board of directors. There was no immediate comment by Starboard on the company’s agreement with Icahn.

In addition, Newell Brands also said it has expanded its accelerated transformation plan, which remains focused on creating a company that is simpler, faster and stronger.

Among the initiatives included in this plan are optimizing the company’s portfolio to focus on brands with attractive margins, driving operational efficiency and simplifying operations, improving financial flexibility and capitalizing on Newell’s scale to drive market share gains through innovation, e-commerce and international deployment.