The Investor's Rights Association of America, Great Neck, N.Y., is asking more than 30 poorly performing companies, including the Occidental Petroleum Corp., Ogden Corp. and Sun Co., to put themselves up for sale as a way of increasing shareholder value.
The shareholder activist group picked companies whose performance had lagged their peers or the Standard & Poor's 500 over the last five years, based on performance graphs companies are required to include in their shareholder ballots. Last year, the group asked Sterling Bancorp, New York, to "engage the services of an investment banker to explore all alternatives to enhance shareholder value," but withdrew the proposal after the company replaced top management and its stock price rose, said Thomas E. Flanagan, IRAA president.
The group also intends to talk to other investors to pressure the targeted companies to take action.
Additionally, IRAA already is planning to swamp Occidental Petroleum with proposals asking the company to get rid of "golden parachutes" or generous severance packages for top executives and pension packages for non-employee directors, Mr. Flanagan said.