Exclusive-Starboard to challenge engineering materials maker Rogers' board -sources
By Svea Herbst-Bayliss
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Activist investment firm Starboard Value LP has amassed a sizable stake in Rogers Corp and is seeking seats on the electronics materials company's board in its push for changes, people familiar with the matter said on Friday.
The board challenge comes after chemical company DuPont in November walked away from a $5.2 billion deal to acquire Rogers because it failed to secure regulatory approval for the transaction in China. The deal had originally been announced in late 2021.
Starboard, which is led by Jeffrey Smith, has been building a stake in Rogers that is nearing 5% and has notified the company that it will nominate at least three people to the company's 10-member board, the sources said, requesting anonymity because the matter is confidential.
Starboard's plans for the company could not immediately be learned. Starboard and Rogers did not respond to requests for comment.
Rogers, which was founded in 1832, makes materials that are used in electronics and wireless infrastructure.
Its stock price tumbled after the DuPont deal was scrapped and is down 47% over the last 52 weeks. Since the start of 2023, the stock has climbed 22% as the broader market moved higher, giving Rogers a market value of $2.8 billion.
The company has made changes since the DuPont deal fell apart. Colin Gouveia, who ran Rogers' elastomeric material solutions unit, became CEO this year. Former chief executive, Bruce Hoechner, who retired at the end of last year, will step down from the board at the end of March, according to the company's website.
Starboard has been active, including recent bets on cloud-based software company Salesforce, software company Splunk and website maker Wix.com.
(Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss in New York; Editing by Leslie Adler)