Elliott Wins Concessions From Juniper

Feb 21 2014 | 10:00am ET

Juniper Networks avoided a proxy fight with Elliott Management, agreeing to the hedge fund's demands that it return capital and cut costs.

The computer networking company said yesterday that it would return $3 billion to shareholders over the next three years, including a $2 billion share buyback program over the next 13 months. Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Juniper also said it would reduce expenses by $160 million, and add a pair of independent directors to its board.

Those concessions would appear to appease both Elliott and Jana Partners, which had suggested that Juniper's board "would benefit from the addition of new directors with a fresh perspective." Elliott pronounced itself pleased with Juniper's moves and indicated that it would not nominate its own slate of director candidates.

"Elliott is highly optimistic about the company's future and looks forward to supporting Juniper in its continued focus on creating shareholder value," Elliott's Jesse Cohn said.

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