CalSTRS Achieves Shareholder Victory at Freeport-McMoRan
Proposal allows shareholders owning 15 percent or more of stock to call special meetings.
WEST SACRAMENTO, CA – The California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) today announced overwhelming support for its proposal giving shareholders owning 15 percent or more of Freeport-McMoRan stock the right to call a special shareholder meeting.
More than 70 percent of the shares voted at the July 16 annual meeting supported the binding proposal, which changes company by-laws to reflect this right. The Phoenix, Ariz.-based company held its shareholder meeting in Wilmington, Del.
The proposal was put before the shareholders because Freeport-McMoRan management structured what CalSTRS saw as heavily conflicted merger deals that precluded shareholder votes. Freeport is among the world’s largest publicly-traded copper-mining companies.
“While we applaud the company’s willingness to engage, we as shareholders and owners have the right to give input on strategic decisions and to debate the appropriateness of deals that impact the long-term performance of the company,” said Anne Sheehan, director of corporate governance at CalSTRS. “Overwhelming support for our proposal reflects shareholders’ desire for change in the governance structure at Freeport-McMoRan.”
CalSTRS owns 2,912,000 shares of company stock, accounting for 0.28 percent of outstanding shares as of July 1, 2013. CalSTRS also supported a successful shareholder proposal requiring Freeport’s board chairman to be an independent director. CalSTRS supported two shareholder proposals calling for greater diversity and more environmental expertise on the board, which received 28 percent and 29 percent support, respectively.
The California State Teachers’ Retirement System, with a portfolio valued at $165.8 billion as of June 30, 2013, is the largest educator-only pension fund in the world. CalSTRS administers a hybrid retirement system, consisting of traditional defined benefit, cash balance and voluntary defined contribution plans. CalSTRS also provides disability and survivor benefits. For 100 years, CalSTRS has served California’s public school educators and their families, who today number 862,000 from the state’s 1,600 school districts, county offices of education and community college districts.