Epiq Systems Inc. on Monday announced an agreement with one of its largest shareholders that had been pressuring the company to explore strategies to increase the company’s value.
The Kansas City, Kan., company, which develops software for the legal profession, said that as part of the agreement with the investment firm of St. Denis J. Villere & Co., Kevin Robert had been appointed to its board of directors.
The move expands Epiq’s board to nine directors, including seven independent members who are not part of the company’s management.
Robert, a former chief executive of Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting, will serve on several board committees, including those that review Epiq’s business strategies and alternatives, the company said.
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In addition, Villere, a New Orleans investment firm that owns about 16.2 percent of Epiq’s stock, agreed to vote in favor of Epiq’s board nominees at its 2015 annual meeting.
“We believe Mr. Robert will be a great addition to the company’s board of directors,” George Young, a partner at Villere, said in a statement. “Mr. Robert has impressive financial and business acumen and a broad range of experience.”
Earlier this year, Villere notified Epiq that it intended to nominate its own group of directors to the company’s board at the 15 meeting. In September, the company, which has been a longtime investor in Epiq’s stock, urged the software company to explore strategic alternatives to increase shareholder value.
In response, Epiq announced it was exploring strategic options, including going private or recapitalizing. Epiq also established a takeover defense plan and hired Credit Suisse Securities as a financial adviser as it reviewed its options.
The company is also under pressure from another activist shareholder, P2 Capital Partners LLC, a New York hedge fund.
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