Cognizant Technology Solutions Corporation recently announced that it has entered into a cooperation agreement with Elliott Management “Elliott”.
Pursuant to the terms of the cooperation agreement, the Cognizant Board of Directors has agreed to continue the ongoing process of refreshing the Board by appointing three new independent directors, two of which will be named prior to the mailing of the Company’s definitive proxy statement for the 2017 Annual Meeting of Stockholders and one of which will be named in connection with the 2018 Annual Meeting of Stockholders. Three existing members of the Board will concurrently not stand for reelection.
Francisco D’Souza, Cognizant’s Chief Executive Officer said, “We are pleased to be working with Elliott and look forward to welcoming new colleagues to the Board. In addition, as part of today’s full-year earnings release, we announced a plan to accelerate our shift to digital, expand margin targets and launch a robust new capital return program. Taken together, these initiatives will make Cognizant even stronger. I am confident that we are well-positioned to drive long-term shareholder value as we continue investing in exciting new areas of growth for Cognizant and our clients around the world.”
Jesse Cohn, Senior Portfolio Manager at Elliott Management added, “Frank and his team have been terrific partners in this process and have developed a thoughtful, balanced and highly attractive plan. In an evolving industry, Cognizant must continue to invest for growth and the digital transition, while further optimizing operations and returning capital to its shareholders. We are large shareholders of Cognizant because we believe the Company has a strong position in the industry and can deliver compelling value to shareholders.”
Cognizant’s Board will also form a Financial Policy Committee, which will assist and advise the Board on issues relating to Cognizant’s operating plan and capital allocation policy. The Financial Policy Committee will be comprised of three directors, including Mr. D’Souza, an incumbent director with previous operational experience and one of the new directors.
Pursuant to the cooperation agreement, Elliott has also agreed to certain customary standstill provisions, as well as to support the integrated plan announced today. The full cooperation agreement with Elliott will be filed in a Current Report on Form 8-K with the Securities and Exchange Commission.