Relational Investors LLC, the activist fund co-founded by Ralph Whitworth and David Batchelder, nominated two directors to the board of B/E Aerospace Inc. before the maker of aircraft seats postponed its annual meeting, two people familiar with the matter said.
Relational, which last month disclosed a stake of about 3.5 percent in B/E Aerospace, submitted Batchelder and managing director Matthew Hepler as board candidates before this week’s deadline, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the nominations aren’t yet public.
B/E on Tuesday indefinitely delayed its annual meeting, which had been scheduled for July 24, saying the postponement will allow the board and management “to further evaluate the company’s strategic alternatives.”
“As announced on May 4, 2014, the company is exploring strategic alternatives which could include, amongst others, a possible spinoff or other separation of selected businesses within the company, a merger, or other strategic transactions involving the company or its businesses,” B/E said.
B/E’s disclosure of the review surprised some investors because the company said in April that it was working on two acquisitions of its own.
In addition to seats, Wellingtona-based B/E supplies aircraft beverage makers, galley chillers, oxygen and lighting systems and aerospace fasteners. It also has made a foray into the oil and gas equipment-distribution business.
San Diego-based Relational, which manages about $6 billion, disclosed its stake in a May 15 regulatory filing.
B/E said it will schedule a new annual meeting and file amended proxy materials “once a final determination has been made.” The company’s six-member board has two directors up for election this year.
Last month the company said it hired Citigroup Inc. and Shearman & Sterling LLP to help it explore alternatives, including a sale of the whole company or separation of “selected businesses.”
Greg Powell, B/E’s vice president for investor relations, couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
Amin Khoury, 75, co-founded the aerospace supplier with his brother Robert in 1987 and is chairman and co-chief executive officer, splitting his executive duties with operations chief Werner Lieberherr since the start of the year. The board’s six members include the Khoury brothers.