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Voce Capital Management LLC, one of the largest long-term stockholders of Air Methods Corporation, has announced that it has nominated four independent candidates for election to the board of directors at the company’s 2017 annual meeting. The nominations follow Voce’s unanswered letter to the board last month outlining Voce’s concerns with Air Methods’ “dismal underperformance” and lack of “credible plan to create stockholder value.”
In a press release announcing the nominations, Voce stated, “The situation at Air Methods has unraveled since we entered the cooperation agreement with the board almost a year ago. Stockholders suffered a -24 percent loss on Air Methods’ stock in 2016, despite the Russell 2000 (of which Air Methods is a constituent) appreciating 21 percent. Air Methods’ appalling 2016 results come on the heels of stockholder losses of -4.8 percent in 2015 and -24.4 percent in 2014, compounding to a -45 percent loss in the prior three calendar years.
“In addition to the serious strategic questions we have raised for the past two years about Air Methods’ ownership structure and deep trading discount in the public markets to its intrinsic value, troubling operational and execution issues have emerged. During this time, despite campaigning hard to maintain their shareholder-funded sinecures, we do not believe the legacy directors have articulated any credible plan to create stockholder value.”
Voce’s nominees include Robert H. Fish, Gregory K. Guckes, William A. Mathies, and J. Daniel Plants. More information about the nominees is available in Voce’s full press release, available here.
In response to Voce’s announcement, Air Methods issued the statement, “Air Methods maintains an ongoing dialogue with our investors. Our board of directors and management team recognize the right of investors to nominate directors. In keeping with our long held practice of maintaining a high caliber board with exceptionally qualified directors, we will carefully evaluate Voce’s nominees. Shareholders need not take action at this time.
“Our board of directors remains highly engaged with management to ensure that the company’s operating and strategic plan is fully aligned with the best interest of all shareholders,” the statement concluded.