Apple CEO Tim Cook is calling a shareholder lawsuit against the company a “silly sideshow,” even as he said he was open to looking at the shareholder’s proposals for sharing more cash with investors.
Investor David Einhorn sued Apple last week, saying a proposal slated for a vote at the company’s annual meeting in two weeks would make it more difficult to enact his plan to reward shareholders by distributing a new class of shares.
Cook said Apple’s proposal puts more power in the hands of shareholders, making it difficult to understand why a shareholder would fight it. Calling the fight a waste of time, Cook said Apple won’t waste money by mailing shareholders to persuade them to vote for the proposal.
“My preference is that everyone on both sides of this issue would take the money they’re spending on this and donating it to a worthy cause,” Cook said.
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Repeating previous statements, Cook also said that the company is “seriously” looking at ways to hand out more cash to shareholders.
Investors appeared to be listening for something more substantive out of Cook on the cash issue. Apple’s stock fell $7.40, or 1.5 percent, to $472.53 in afternoon trading after his morning speech at a Goldman Sachs investor conference in San Francisco.