Now a baker’s dozen in North Dakota

April 28, 2009

Last week, we footnoted about the small, but growing number of companies whose shareholders are requesting (via the annual proxy process) that their companies be relocated to North Dakota. That’s because a 2007 law is viewed as being much friendlier to shareholders than those in Delaware, where the vast majority of companies are based.

Last week, 11 companies, including Exxon Mobil (EOM), Southwest (LUV), and Amgen (AMGN), were on the list. But since Friday, two more companies have been targeted, which makes it a baker’s dozen. Over the past two days, shareholder activist John Chevedden, who has introduced proposals at Southwest and two others, added Continental Airlines (CAL) and Staples (SPLS) to his list.

Among his concerns with Staples, according to the proxy filed yesterday was the fact that CEO Ronald Sargent also sits on four other boards, which Chevedden says is an over-extension and the long tenure of several board members. The concerns at Continental are essentially the same.

As we said last week, it’s unlikely that even if these proposals do happen to pass, that the companies will pick up stakes for North Dakota. But it’s still pretty interesting to watch from the sidelines.

I was on Marketplace last night talking perks. Hope you’ll listen in if you missed it.

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