Judge Grants Greenlight's Bid to Block Apple Proxy Vote
02/22/2013| 04:15pm US/Eastern
A federal judge has granted a bid by Greenlight Capital Inc. to block an upcoming proxy vote on an Apple Inc. (>> Apple Inc.) shareholder proposal, after the hedge fund objected to the lumping together of several differing shareholder proposals in one vote.
Greenlight, founded by David Einhorn, claimed in a lawsuit filed earlier this month that Apple improperly bundled multiple shareholder requests into one proxy measure. The fund wants the measures voted on separately.
On Friday, U.S. District Richard Sullivan in Manhattan issued an injunction blocking the vote, which was set for Feb. 27.
The proposal "impermissibly bundles "separate matters" for shareholder consideration," the judge said.
Apple argued that the proposals could be grouped together because they comprised a single action: an amendment of Apple's articles of incorporation. However, Judge Sullivan said he found that argument "unavailing."
The lawsuit comes as Mr. Einhorn has publicly called on Apple to return to shareholders more of the $137 billion in cash the company is holding. According to a recent regulatory filing, Greenlight Capital boosted its stake in Apple by about 20% to 1.3 million shares in the fourth quarter.
Apple and Greenlight didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.
Subscribe to WSJ: http://online.wsj.com?mod=djnwires