The Carl Icahn-controlled company pushing for big changes at Delek US Holdings has followed through on its threat to go to court over the compensation of Chairman and CEO Uzi Yemin.
CVR Energy on Thursday filed suit in the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware asking for permission to inspect Delek records related to Yemin’s pay going back to 2012. Texas-based CVR has been prodding Delek since early this year, about nine months after it built up a 15 percent stake in the Brentwood-based company. CVR first pushed Yemin and his team to convert some of their refineries and sell off other assets and then focused on the CEO’s compensation, alleging that he has been overpaid in his main role at Delek US while also taking in money from the company’s Delek Logistics Partners affiliate.
“Showing stockholders of a relatively small company that has not performed particularly well that its CEO’s average total compensation per year was over $10 million might have ignited an immediate stockholder rebellion, and stockholder rebellions tend to terminate gravy trains,” CVR's complaint says, while saying the company “reserves the right to bring action for any fiduciary breaches or other wrongdoing that it might uncover.”
Yemin earlier this week sent a note to Delek employees about the proxy fight with CVR — the challenger wants investors to vote for three board candidates it has nominated — which he said is not impacting the company’s daily operations or broader goals.
“We have a small team of management navigating this matter,” Yemin wrote. “For all other Delek colleagues, your continued focus on our business and objectives will ensure that we remain successful, meet our goals, and deliver value to our customers and shareholders alike.”
Shares of Delek (Ticker: DK) fell 2.5 percent during regular trading Thursday and lost another 3.5 percent after hours to close at $21.51. They’re still up more than 70 percent over the past six months.