Coghill Questions ‘Sweetheart Agreements’ Between Atari, Infogrames

Oct 17 2007 | 8:21am ET

Coghill Capital Management is in no mood for fun and games with Atari or its controlling shareholder Infogrames Entertainment. The activist hedge fund shop recently sent a letter to Atari “to express its serious concerns” regarding Infogrames’ sudden removal of five independent directors from Atari.

On Oct. 8, Atari announced that Infogrames removed James Ackerly, Ronald Bernard, Michael Corrigan, Denis Guyennot, and Ann Kronen from its board of directors effective as of Oct. 5. A week later, Coghill sent a letter to the iconic game producer calling the moves by Infogrames “without cause, without notice and without a shareholders' meeting, and in our opinion is just the culmination in Infogrames' treatment of the Issuer as its private source of assets and funds, and its oppression of the public shareholders.”

The letter went on to demand that Atari’s board “immediately reconstitute itself with a majority of independent directors, re-establish an independent audit committee, put an end to the sweetheart agreements with Infogrames, and seek compensation from Infogrames and the Issuer's management for the serious damage they have caused both the Issuer and its public shareholders.”

This week, Atari responded by announcing four new independent board members to join incumbents Evence-Charles Coppee, Jean-Michel Perbet and Thomas Schmider, and a new chief restructuring officer to evaluate and implement “strategic and tactical options through the restructuring process of the company.”

Coghill currently has a 9.4% stake in Atari.

 


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