Local utility Evergy Inc. and hedge-fund investor Elliott Management Corporation are within days of announcing a settlement agreement, according to a published report by Bloomberg.
Bloomberg reported Thursday the announcement of an agreement is expected to come Monday, when Evergy discloses its fourth-quarter earnings. Evergy’s conference call with investors is scheduled for 8 a.m. Central time.
Bloomberg's reporting, which cites “people familiar with the matter,” says the agreement between Evergy and Elliott won’t include any changes in management at the utility.
It will, however, include the appointment of two new directors to Evergy’s board. The news outlet says the agreement also calls for the creation of a special committee that would conduct a comprehensive review of the utility to find ways to improve shareholder returns.
It isn’t clear who would sit on that committee or who the new appointees to Evergy’s board will be.
Evergy officials declined to comment on the ongoing, private negotiations and said they weren’t contacted by Bloomberg before the organization’s report was made public.
Elliott officials could not be reached for comment by press time Friday, despite multiple attempts at communication.
Negotiations between Evergy and Elliott have been ongoing since October.
In a letter made public Jan. 21, Elliott disclosed it held a $760 million stake in the utility (about 5%). Elliott claimed Evergy’s stock has underperformed since its 2018 merger and argued the utility is undervalued.
At the time, Elliott called on Evergy to take immediate action by appointing new board members or management-level leadership to oversee implementation of a “high-performance plan” or by exploring the possibility of a stock-for-stock merger.
Elliott, which has a history of leveraging its investments to push for change in publicly-traded companies, disagreed with Evergy’s strategy of buying back stock to grow its capital. Evergy argued it was confident in its ability to create value for shareholders.