Glenn Welling's Engaged Capital is battling the patent trollish company Rovi, waging a proxy battle. ISS came out yesterday in favor of 2 of 3 of Engaged's short slate of nominees for Rovi's 7-member board. ISS is backing Welling himself too.
Engaged's key thesis is that shareholder returns have been suboptimal (the canned thesis for many an activist these days). In truth, the returns at Rovi have been negative since the company was formed in 2008 via a merger. No doubt some fresh blood is needed on the board, with 5 of the 7 directors having been on the board since 2008, but there are bigger questions over the business model.
Now, Engaged only owns 0.6% of the company. The annual meeting is set for May 13.