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Investor sues Apple in battle over cash

Feb 08 2013 13:25

San Francisco - Activist investor David Einhorn sued Apple on Thursday in a bid to force the giant technology company to distribute more of its $137bn in cash to investors.

Einhorn, the billionaire hedge fund manager of Greenlight Capital, filed the lawsuit in New York.

He wants the court to order Apple to allow a separate shareholder vote about the company's ability to issue preferred shares that would yield a dividend payment to shareholders.

Einhorn claimed that proposals scheduled for the company's annual shareholders' meeting scheduled for February 27 would make the issuance of preferred shares more difficult.

Apple's cash holdings represent nearly a third of the company's total value. But the company has never provided investors with a clear explanation of why it holds such large sums in low-yielding investments rather than returning it to shareholders.

Last year the company announced plans to return $45bn of that stockpile back to shareholders and in a statement on Thursday said it had already returned $10bn and was looking at ways of increasing the returns.

"As part of our review, we will thoroughly evaluate Greenlight Capital's current proposal to issue some form of preferred stock," Apple said. "We welcome Greenlight's views and the views of all of our shareholders."

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