Commvault targeted by hedge fund Starboard

Commvault Systems, Inc. has to face another battle with activist investors for the second time in a time span of two years as Satrboard Value LP not only came on increasing its share in the U.S. data protection and data management software company but also nominated six directors to its board.

The activist hedge fund on Thursday intimated the company about the nomination of six people among which included are Starboard’s Chief Executive Jeffery Smith and Gavin Molinelli who is a co-portfolio manager at Starboard. Commvault’s board is currently comprised of 11 members.

Om March 30, in a mandatory regulatory filing with Securities and Exchange Commission, the New York-based Starboard for the first time unveiled holding of about 9.3% of stake in Commvault. The hedge fund later on moderately increased its stake in the Tinton Falls, NJ-headquartered company to 9.91%.

The news of stacking share in company to a controlling position by Starboard helped Commvault’s share price to surge in past few days which closed the day on Thursday 2.5% up at $41.79. Starboard, which acquired the Commvault’s shares at an average price of $35.76 per share, usually seeks the targeted companies to make operational changes.

With names like Robert Soderbery, Todd Bradley, Katherine Wagner and Philip Black, nominations by Starboard are to bring with them vast experience of not only board membership but also experiences as head of marketing and chief executive at other companies.

According to a filed document, the hedge fund, run by Smith, started buying forward contracts in Commvault in February and later on in last month bought common stock of the company.

Commvault said that though the company is more focused on other priorities in coronavirus pandemic, but after learning about stake built up on March 30, Commvalut approached Starboard to highlight the skills its board is deficient of.