Unisys Corp. said yesterday that it had appointed two representatives of a major hedge fund shareholder to its board, an agreement brought about by pressure from the investor to improve operations and boost the stock price.
The technology-services company in Blue Bell added Clay Lifflander, president of MMI Investments L.P., and Charles McQuade, retired chairman and chief executive officer of Securities Industry Automation Corp. The board will be expanded by two to 13.
MMI Investments, which is controlled by hedge fund Millbrook Capital Management Inc., of New York, has threatened to take action at Unisys' upcoming shareholders meeting. It owns a 9.1 percent stake in Unisys.
Unisys said yesterday that MMI Investments had agreed to "work cooperatively" with the company.
MMI Investments said in a statement that it supported the company's actions.
In January, MMI sent a letter to the Unisys board expressing its frustration with the company's lagging stock price and urging the company to sell or spin off its U.S. government business.
In February, Unisys announced plans to hold its annual meeting July 24 and said the deadline for submission of shareholder proposals and director nominations was June 2. Unisys also said at that time that it was exploring ways to enhance shareholder value, under the guidance of investment bank the Bear Stearns Cos. Inc.
Also yesterday, the company announced that it had been awarded the right to compete for information-technology contracts for the Department of Defense and other federal agencies.
The Pentagon's Defense Information Systems Agency has hired Unisys for similar contract work. But, Unisys said yesterday in a release, the new designation allows it to compete for $12.25 billion in orders for network services, communications and security engineering, Web services, and other items.
Shares of Unisys rose 10 cents, or 2.25 percent, to close at $4.55 on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock is down 53 percent from a 52-week high of $9.70 in July 2007.