(Adds details of contacts with Einhorn, board nominees)
By Nick Carey
DETROIT, April 3 General Motors Co on
Monday outlined in a regulatory filing contacts with billionaire
hedge fund manager David Einhorn who went public last week with
a plan to boost GM's value and announced its slate of board
nominees, all of whom currently serve on the board.
Einhorn, who runs hedge fund Greenlight Capital, has
proposed that GM create two classes of stock, one that pays a
dividend and one that does not, to boost the No. 1 U.S.
carmaker's share price.
GM has rejected the proposal and rating agencies have said
it would negatively affect the company's credit rating. Other
investors in the carmaker have also given the proposal from
Einhorn, who runs Greenlight Capital, a frosty reception.
Einhorn has said he would take his plan to GM shareholders
through a proxy contest where he hopes to win board seats,
though he has not released any names.
According to GM's proxy filing, Einhorn first reached out to
the company last August, and followed with a number of in-person
meetings, teleconferences and calls, including with GM chief
executive Mary Barra.
GM said it also analyzed Einhorn's proposal including
discussions with rating agencies.
In December GM's board reviewed analyses of Einhorn's
proposal conducted by management and financial advisers and
"determined that it was not in the best interests" of GM or
Greenlight, which has a 4.9 percent stake in GM including
options, declined to comment.
In the filing GM also said that Barra's salary, bonus and
awards declined more than 20 percent in 2016 to $22.6 million
from $28.6 million in 2015.
The company said this reflected a one-time retention bonus
of nearly $11.2 million in stock options in 2015.
GM reported a pretax profit of $12.5 billion in 2016, up
from $10.8 billion in 2015.
Last week No. 2 U.S. automaker Ford Motor Co said its
chief executive Mark Fields' salary, bonus and stock awards rose
8 percent to $18.8 million in 2016, while pretax profit for the
automaker fell slightly from a record high in 2015.
In late February Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV
said chief executive Sergio Marchionne received $11.6
million (10.83 million euros) in pay and benefits for 2016.
(Additional reporting by Joe White; Editing by Steve Orlofsky
and Mary Milliken)