Ceridian Corp. has a few choice words of its own for activist hedge fund honcho William Ackman. The human-resources outsourcing concern fired back today at Pershing Square Capital Management’s “continuing ill-advised effort” to replace its board.
The company said Ackman’s plans to replace the current board “introduces significant and unnecessary risk to completion of our $36 per share cash merger,” citing other institutional investors, including private equity powerhouse Thomas H. Lee Partners, support for its current management team.
Ceridian labeled Pershing Square’s claims of continuing its proxy fight only so that its nominees can act as a “backstop” and take over the company in case the merger does not close as “disingenuous.”
“It is Pershing Square’s proxy fight that increases the very risk that Pershing Square claims to be trying to backstop,” Ceridian wrote on its Web site. “If Pershing Square truly wanted to support our $36 per share cash merger, it would support the reelection of our board and allow the merger to close, knowing that if the merger did not close, it could immediately renew its election contest.”