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Preview / WEEK OF MAY 27-JUNE 2

ICN Shareholders to Select Board of Directors

May 27, 2002|Times Staff and Reuters

Shareholders of ICN Pharmaceuticals Inc. will vote Wednesday on a slate of director candidates, and they are being encouraged to back dissident nominees.

Institutional Shareholder Services is supporting three independent candidates nominated by Franklin Mutual Advisers and Iridian Asset Management. The two investor groups together hold more than 10% of the Costa Mesa drug maker's stock and are trying to wrest control from Chairman and Chief Executive Milan Panic, who founded the company 42 years ago.

Three other outside directors elected last year in a previous proxy battle have pledged to support the new slate on a nine-member board.

Like the dissidents of last year, the disgruntled shareholders charge that the presence of Panic at the helm has punished investors and kept well-qualified executives from working at ICN. They also charge that Panic has dragged his feet for several years in splitting the company into three independent firms to enhance shareholder value.

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