A second strike for Starboard…

Yesterday was a tough day for the poor folks at Starboard Ventures. Chances are you’ve already heard — perhaps ad nauseum — about them losing the vote at AOL’s (AOL) board meeting in Boston.

While AOL has yet to file the final results, Chairman and CEO Tim Armstrong took a victory lap after the votes were tallied, telling Reuters in this article that “”It was a referendum on our long-term holders and what they feel about our strategy.”

Just to recap quickly: New York-based Starboard owned just under 5 million shares of AOL as of the 13-F that they filed last month. They were trying to elect three hand-picked directors to the AOL board and proxy firm ISS actually recommended that investors vote for two of the three earlier this month. Since the beginning of May, either AOL or Starboard have kept their corporate lawyers busy, filing 36 documents, several of which weighed in at over 100 pages.

But none of this is what caught our attention yesterday. Instead, it was this amended 13-F that Starboard filed disclosing a significant position — just over 1 million shares — in Compuware (CPWR), a software company, that much like AOL, isn’t exactly known for being au courant.

What really caught our attention is that Starboard sought confidential treatment for its Compuware investment, but just like Warren Buffett, whose secret interest in Lee Enterprises (LEE) was forced into the light of day by the folks at the SEC, Starboard’s request was rejected.

So the score, for those keeping track at home is two confidential treatment requests denied by the SEC in the past month. And two strikes for Starboard on the very same day.

Image source: Baseball strike via Shutterstock


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