Sensient Technologies urges shareholders to reject FrontFour’s bid for board seats

Special to The Freeman

March 17, 2014

MILWAUKEE – Sensient Technologies Corp. on Monday filed proxy materials with the Securities and Exchange Commission in an effort to prevent a board takeover by FrontFour Master Fund Ltd.

The proxy materials urge shareholders to vote for its current members, rather than the four members nominated by FrontFour.

The Milwaukee-based company that makes flavorings, fragrances and colors wrote the letter because it is seeking to keep all nine of its current board members. The election will be held April 24 at its annual meeting.

FrontFour Master Fund, a company formed in the Cayman Islands, holds about 0.7 percent of Sensient’s outstanding shares of common stock. On Feb. 19, the company sent a letter to shareholders saying it intended to nominate four people for election to the board in order to exert more control over the company. The letter voiced concerns regarding the company’s operational shortfalls in the flavors and fragrances division.

“Under the direction of our CEO Paul Manning, we are extending a plan across the company that has already proven successful in one of our businesses," according to the SEC filing. "Prior to becoming CEO, Paul led the successful execution of this plan in our Color Group, which resulted in 15% compound annual growth in operating profit since 2009 and 2013 operating margins of 21% – the highest level in 10 years.”