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The very best of… Dan Loeb’s letters to CEOs

By NexChange
Hedge Funds

It’s been awhile since we’ve seen Dan Loeb’s poison pen put to good use so, here are the nastiest, the most scathing, and above all, the most hilarious letters of his from back in the day – just in case you forgot why the New Yorker called him the “angry investor” back in 2005.

Enjoy.

Letter to InterCept Inc., 2004
“Do not confuse our $22 million stake as a vote of confidence in the Company’s senior management or its Board of Directors. On the contrary, it is our view that your record in management, acquisitions and corporate governance is among the worst that we have witnessed in our investment career… “

“…The Company’s proxy statement provides us with our first indication that a “good ol’ boy” (“GOB”) set of ethics prevails at the Company rather than standards dictated by fairness and good judgment. First, the Company employs the C.E.O.’s daughter, Denise, and her husband David Saylor, who received total compensation of $238,776 in 2003. I called Mr. Saylor last Friday at 4:00 p.m. at the Company’s offices to learn more about the core product that he presumably sells. He had his calls forwarded to his cell phone since it was still business hours. I identified myself as a shareholder interested in learning about the core product lines to which he replied that he could not speak as he was “on the golf course.” I was not sure whether it was his relation with his father-in-law or the $238,776 salary that affords him the opportunity to work on his golf game during business hours.”
Letter to Ligand Pharmaceuticals, 2005
“When one analyst was queried about the reputation of the senior executives at the Company, he said that you [Ligand C.E.O. David Robinson] are “the worst CEO in biotech”, and another analyst we spoke with attributed the significant valuation disparity between the current stock price and the much higher intrinsic value of the Company to the “David Robinson Discount”. I must wonder how in this day and age the Company’s Board of Directors has not held you and [Ligand C.F.O.] Paul Maier responsible for your respective failures and shown you both the door long ago—accompanied by a well worn boot planted in the backside.”
Letter to Star Gas Partners, 2005
“Sadly, your ineptitude is not limited to your failure to communicate with bond and unit holders. A review of your record reveals years of value destruction and strategic blunders which have led us to dub you one of the most dangerous and incompetent executives in America. (I was amused to learn, in the course of our investigation, that at Cornell University there is an “[Star Gas C.E.O.] Irik Sevin Scholarship.” One can only pity the poor student who suffers the indignity of attaching your name to his academic record.)”

“…how is it possible that you selected your elderly 78-year old mom to serve on the Company’s Board of Directors and as a full-time employee providing employee and unitholder services? We further wonder under what theory of corporate governance does one’s mom sit on a Company board. Should you be found derelict in the performance of your executive duties, as we believe is the case, we do not believe your mom is the right person to fire you from your job…. We insist that your mom resign immediately from the Company’s board of directors.”“
Letter to Potlach, 2003
“Since you ascended to your current role of Chief Value Destroyer (“C.V.D.”) when you assumed the formal title of C.E.O. in 1999, the shares have dropped over 45%, a destruction of shareholder value in excess of $520 million. This negative sum does not include the declin

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