IBJOpinion

Lilly shareholders deserve protection

March 20, 2010
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IBJ Letters To The Editor

[In response to a Feb. 22 story about Eli Lilly and Co.] Senate Bill 1 was passed by the Indiana General Assembly and signed by the governor in 1985. Its purpose was then, and still is, to protect a company’s shareholders when stock values seem depressed.

This is the wrong time, in my opinion, and I may not have all the facts, to open up Eli Lilly to an outside takeover, for this is the time Lilly shareholders will receive far less than the underlying value of the company.

The Indiana statute came about in a frenzy caused by the Belzbergs of Canada, who were intent on an unfriendly takeover of Arvin. With the help of Senate Pro Tem Bob Garton and Gov. Bob Orr, we hustled the legislation through the General Assembly to the governor’s desk. And it worked!

The Belzbergs withdrew and sold their Arvin stock to us. It was tested by the U.S. Supreme Court later and on July 1, 1987, The Wall Street Journal reported quite thoroughly on how effective the Indiana statute was.

This is the time for the Lilly board of directors to keep your guard up. This is the time to protect your shareholders.

__________

Jim Baker
Retired chairman and CEO
Arvin
Columbus, Ind.

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