Industry News | February 9, 2007

Yum Brands Ending 'Poison Pill' Plan

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The board of fast-food parent Yum Brands Inc. on Friday said it's terminating its shareholder rights plan, or "poison pill," and adopting a majority voting for uncontested director elections.

The shareholder rights plan, which is designed to thwart hostile takeover attempts, will automatically terminate at the close of business on March 1, according to the company.

Under the majority voting plan, any director nominee who receives a greater number of "withheld" votes than "for" votes in an uncontested election will be required to tender his resignation from the board. The board will then accept or reject the resignation within 90 days, but will be required to accept it unless there is a "compelling reason" for the nominee to remain, "and the board publicly discloses that reason," according to the company.

"These actions represent best practice in corporate governance and are consistent with our goal of creating long-term, sustainable value for Yum shareholders," David C. Novak, chairman and chief executive, says in a release.

Shares of Yum Brands, parent of restaurant chains including Taco Bell, added 11 cents to $60.90 in afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange.