The nays lose it at Cell Therapeutics…

September 20, 2010

Complaints thumbs down-784494

We’ve posted before about directors keeping their seats after getting a resounding raspberry from shareholders. Well, it happened again, this time at Cell Therapeutics (CTIC), a biotech company in Seattle looking for cancer cures.

You wouldn’t know it from the press release the company put out with the results of its annual meeting. There, the company says simply that

“At the Annual Meeting, shareholders elected John H. Bauer and Phillip M. Nudelman, M.D. to serve on the Company’s Board of Directors until the Company’s 2013 Annual Meeting.”

But in the 8-K the company filed with the release, the facts are a little grimmer:

“The results of the voting included: (i) 142,317,460 votes for, 168,783,010 votes withheld and 129,479,912 broker non-votes for John H. Bauer and (ii) 141,694,135 votes for, 169,406,335 votes withheld and 129,479,912 broker non-votes for Phillip M. Nudelman, Ph.D. Mr. Bauer and Dr. Nudelman were elected to serve as directors to the Board, each to serve until the 2013 Annual Meeting of Shareholders.”

Yes, you read correctly: Bauer got just 45.7% of the votes that count, while 54% withheld votes from him. (Broker non-votes aren’t counted for election of directors.) Nudelman did a little worse, getting yeas from 45.5% of those voting on his nomination. And yet both will serve for the next three years.

Mind you, this is at a company with plenty of incentive to find some fresh blood and new ideas. The stock is down 77% over the last 12 months, and down 69% year-to-date. It has lost money consistently. It was taken to task by TheStreet.com for going hat-in-hand to shareholders to raise money by boosting its shares outstanding.

A company that cares so little for its shareholders that it actually ignores their votes is a company to keep an eye on. Or walk away from.

Image source: Oldmaison via Flickr

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