Friday 20 April 2018

Elan board meeting may resolve row

Donal O'Donovan and Ray Managh

A row between Elan Corporation plc and two of its directors was described in the High Court yesterday as "a most unseemly dispute".

Barrister Rossa Fanning made the remark when he told the court that proceedings restraining two of its own directors, Vaughn Bryson and Jack Schuler, from acting in a US court without the company's authority could be adjourned until October 5.

The case is the latest instalment in a directors' spat that has spilled out of the boardroom and into the courts and newspapers and shows no signs of reaching a resolution.

Last week the company obtained an injunction against Mr Bryson and Mr Schuler, blocking them from taking American court proceedings with regard to a corporate governance dispute which, Elan claimed it was already investigating.

Representing the pair, Mr Fanning told the High Court yesterday there was no objection to the injunction remaining place until October 5. The case was adjourned.

Mr Fanning told the court that a dispute involving the two directors and the company would be discussed at an upcoming board meeting where some resolution might be found.

One director, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the row was damaging the reputation of the company and should have been resolved in the privacy of the boardroom.

The 14-member board drawn from Ireland, the US and beyond is due to meet in Ireland tomorrow.

The so-called "dissident directors" are industrial heavyweights. Mr Bryson is a former CEO of Eli Lilly, while Mr Schuler ran pharmaceutical giant Abbott Laboratories.

Lining up against them will be CEO and director Kelly Martin, chairman Kyran McLaughlin and other senior directors.

Yesterday, the 'Financial Times' reported that Kelly Martin would not block a second independent review, if ordered by the board.

Irish Independent

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