Elliott, Hess Seek Compromise Ahead Of Proxy Fight

May 14 2013 | 11:21am ET

There may be room for compromise between oil and gas giant Hess Corp. and activist hedge fund Elliott Management after all.

Just hours after dismissing an offer to seat two of its nominees from Hess, Elliott offered an olive branch of its own, suggesting that all nominees to the board be seated at Hess' annual meeting on Thursday. Elliott suggested that the two sides jointly decide upon the final size and makeup of the board after electing both slates of five.

Yesterday, Hess suggested seating two Elliott nominees—if its own nominees were elected on Thursday. The hedge fund dismissed that suggestion as a "P.R. stunt" and "desperate."

"Shareholders want real change and a renewed board," Elliott said. "Hess has promised such renewal and this solution will follow through on that promise."

Elliott appears confident heading into Thursday; it has the backing of two major proxy advisory firms, Institutional Shareholder Services and Glass Lewis. And the hedge fund dropped a plan yesterday to pay its nominees to Hess' board.


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