UPDATE 1-Forest Labs to add Icahn aide to board, avert proxy fight
(Adds details on appointment, pledge not to run proxy contest)
June 11 (Reuters) - Forest Laboratories Inc said on Tuesday it will add a representative of Carl Icahn as an independent member to its board, averting a new proxy battle with the billionaire investor.
The specialty drugmaker said the appointment of Vincent Intrieri, 56, would expand the size of its board to eleven from ten directors. Intrieri has worked for various Icahn-related entities since 1998 and sits on a number of boards, including Chesapeake Energy Corp, Forest said.
"As part of the agreement, Mr. Icahn has agreed to vote the shares that he controls in support of Forest's 11 director nominees and not run a proxy contest" at the annual meeting, Forest said in a release.
Forest added that certain standstill restrictions, which limit Icahn's involvement with Forest, will remain in effect as long as Intrieri serves on the board.
Icahn, Forest's second largest shareholder, and the company have been in discussions over the course of the year, hoping to avoid a third proxy battle in as many years, Reuters reported last week, citing sources.
Icahn has been highly critical of Forest leadership in recent years, arguing that the company in which he holds an 11.5 percent stake has been badly managed and underperforms industry peers.
"We are happy to have been able to avoid the necessity for a distracting fight so that management's energies, as well as our own, can be focused on more productive purposes," Icahn said on Tuesday in a Forest press release.
Forest shares fell 2.6 percent to $39.98 in a broader market slump.
(Reporting by Ransdell Pierson; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)