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Timken pushes against Relational-backed spinoff

CANTON, Ohio (AP) -- Timken, pushing back against a proposal by two of its investors, Relational and Calsters, on Monday urged shareholders to vote against a company split.

Investment fund Relational Investors and The California State Teachers' Retirement System argue that Timken Co. should separate its steel and bearings businesses to create the best value for shareholders.

Relational is Timken's biggest shareholder, with an approximately 5.7 percent stake. Calsters owns less than 1 percent of Timken.

On Monday the company said that the analysis in the proposal from Relational and Calsters is flawed. Timken had previously balked at the idea, saying that the business combination saves money and boosts revenue, and that having a diversified company is an important benefit.

Relational and Calsters shot back in a statement Monday that the investor presentation Timken posted criticizing the proposal contained a "flawed and misleading analysis" of the plan.

The Canton, Ohio, company's revenue fell 4 percent last year, although profit rose 9 percent. It's been dealing with a slowdown in demand in Europe and other regions.

Timken's annual shareholder meeting is expected to be held on May 7.

Shares fell 89 cents, or 1.6 percent, close at $55.69 Monday. The stock is up nearly 10 percent over the past 12 months.