(NASDAQ: AVAV) today issued the following statement in response to Engaged Capital’s withdrawal of its director nominee for election to AeroVironment’s board of directors at the 2013 Annual Meeting of Stockholders (“2013 Annual Meeting”), scheduled for October 4, 2013.
The AeroVironment board of directors welcomes the views of its stockholders and appreciates suggestions to help drive long-term growth and enhanced value creation. Engaged Capital’s decision to withdraw its director nominee and refrain from continuing a disruptive and costly proxy contest at the 2013 Annual Meeting will allow the company to focus on executing its growth strategy for the benefit of all stockholders.
The AeroVironment board and management team continue to execute the company’s fiscal 2014 plan successfully by leveraging existing market leadership to support innovation, encourage market adoption and create long-term value for all stockholders. In fact, the company continues to see strong demand for, and rapid adoption of, AeroVironment’s unique, high-quality and innovative products and recently received the largest order yet, valued at $36.7 million, for Switchblade™ tactical missile systems, ancillary equipment and support. AeroVironment’s strategy, strong balance sheet and prudent capital allocation plan are important competitive differentiators that enable the company to support growth initiatives without compromising its ability to make quick and decisive strategic investments in emerging opportunities.
The AeroVironment board is committed to strong corporate governance practices and, in that regard, recently nominated two new, independent and highly qualified individuals to serve as AeroVironment directors: Tom Burbage, former executive vice president and general manager of one of the largest defense acquisition programs to date at Lockheed Martin, and Ed Muller, Vice Chairman of NRG Energy and former chairman and chief executive officer of both GenOn Energy and Mirant Corporation. The board also appointed Stephen Page, a former director, vice chairman and chief financial officer of United Technologies Corporation, and former president and chief executive officer of its subsidiary, Otis Elevator Company, as lead independent director.