SurModics Inc. (NSDQ:SRDX) named two board members put forth by its largest shareholder, New York-based investment firm Ramius LLC.
The Eden Prairie, Minn.-based company said it named Ramius managing director Jeffrey Smith and Wheatley Partners partner Dr. David Dantzker to the board effective immediately.
Directors John Meslow and Kenneth Keller will step down from the board after Surmodics’ Feb. 7 annual meeting. Meslow has had a seat on the board since 2000, Keller since 1997, according to a press release.
It’s the latest round in an ongoing proxy fight between the companies, in which Ramius attempted to name three new directors to Surmodics’ board. Part of the agreement stipulates that Ramius will drop its campaign to place Andrea Group managing director Jeffrey Meckler on the board and committed to vote its 12 percent share of the company in favor of Smith and Dantzker.
SurModics also announced that its board formed a special committee to explore strategic alternatives for the SurModics pharmaceuticals business, which is losing money. The committee plans to work with Minneapolis investment bank Piper Jaffray & Co., which the company had already hired for the same purpose. The group will consist of board members Smith — as committee chairman — in addition to Dr. Dantzker, John Benson and Susan Knight.