AKRON (Feb. 6, 2004)—Goodyear's board of directors has voted to amend the tire maker's shareholder rights plan, also known as its anti-takeover provision.
The plan was scheduled to expire July 29, 2006, but the board voted to accelerate the expiration date to June 1, 2004. The company said the board took note of opposition to such plans, as has been demonstrated by votes on proposals seeking a shareholder vote on redeeming the plan at Goodyear's last two shareholder meetings.
The shareholder rights plan, or “poison pill” as it is known in the corporate world, is designed to take effect when an outsider puchases 15 percent of Goodyear's stock. Goodyear shareholders then are given the right to buy more shares at a reduced price.
The board did not vote to speed up the plan's termination in response to any takeover discussions, a company spokesman said. He noted that no company in history ever has used such a plan, and many companies are doing way with them.
“These actions by our board are further evidence of Goodyear's commitment to strong and responsive corporate governance,” said Chairman and CEO Robert Keegan.
Additionally, the board institued restrictions on its ability to adopt a shareholder rights plan in the future.