GrafTech International Ltd. (NYSE:GTI) (“GrafTech”) today urged stockholders to vote “
” the Company’s seven highly experienced and qualified director nominees – Joel Hawthorne, Randy Carson, Mary Cranston, Thomas Danjczek, Ferrell McClean, Catherine Morris and Steven Shawley – on the
proxy card at the Company’s May 15, 2014 Annual Meeting of Stockholders.
It is extremely important that stockholders
vote as soon as possible
– no matter how many or how few shares they own. Even if stockholders have already voted using the blue proxy card, they have the right to change their vote to the
proxy card in support of GrafTech’s director nominees.
Since time is short, stockholders are encouraged to vote by telephone or Internet according to the instructions on the
Voting by telephone or Internet is the best way for stockholders to ensure that their votes will be counted. Stockholders who have questions or need assistance voting their shares, or wish to change a prior vote of their shares, may call Georgeson toll-free at (800) 509-0917 or contact them by email at
VOTE THE WHITE PROXY CARD FOR THE GRAFTECH BOARD
THAT IS CREATING VALUE AND DELIVERING RESULTS
A VOTE ON THE BLUE PROXY CARD IS A VOTE FOR A FLAWED STRATEGY
THAT GRAFTECH BELIEVES WILL DESTROY STOCKHOLDER VALUE
- The Board and management team have built an advantaged, low-cost, backward-integrated business model that is supported by a strong capital structure. The Company believes the business model has the power to deliver $500 million to $600 million in EBITDA when market demand fully recovers.
- Over the past five years, GrafTech’s Board and management team have implemented initiatives to improve the competitive strength of the Company during the industry’s current severe cyclical downturn and to best position GrafTech in anticipation of a recovery in the steel market.
- GrafTech’s Board and management team have a strong track record of value creation and a clear, winning strategy to drive long-term stockholder value.
- GrafTech's experienced and highly qualified Board is committed to serving the interests of ALL stockholders.
- Two leading independent proxy advisory firms, Glass Lewis and Egan-Jones, have recommended that GrafTech stockholders vote “ FOR” the Company’s experienced and highly qualified nominees on the WHITE proxy card.
The Milikowsky Group has presented a platform that, if implemented, would be detrimental to stockholder value.
- Flawed Industrial Materials Strategy: Redefining GrafTech’s graphite electrode commercial strategy to focus on capacity expansion and commodity pricing in an attempt to gain market-share would be met with an immediate competitive response and result in a long-term negative impact on GrafTech’s margins. The Milikowsky Group's commodity pricing strategy would create a race to the bottom and destroy value for GrafTech stockholders.
- Flawed Needle Coke Strategy: Current low needle coke utilization levels have resulted in soft needle coke pricing. An expansion of Seadrift capacity in the current low price environment would have an immediate negative impact on GrafTech’s margins and liquidity.
- Flawed Pricing Assumptions: The Milikowsky Group's value proposition requires the largest price increase in the history of the industry – approximately 40% and 35% for graphite electrodes and needle coke, respectively, at the same time it proposes to increase market-share. These assumptions are completely unrealistic in the current market environment.
- Apart from the initiatives underway at GrafTech, the strategies presented by the Milikowsky Group are either unsound, based on flawed assumptions, misleading in nature or simply inappropriate for a global carbon and graphite material sciences business like GrafTech.
In addition, GrafTech reminds stockholders that Nathan Milikowsky was not re-nominated to the Board in 2013 following serious governance breaches and conduct that demonstrate he is not qualified to serve on the Board.