© Reuters. Proxy firms Glass Lewis, ISS back Allergan in fight against Appaloosa

(Reuters) – Allergan (NYSE:) Plc said on Monday that proxy advisory firms Institutional Shareholder Services Inc and Glass Lewis & Co had urged its shareholders to vote against hedge fund Appaloosa LP’s proposal to immediately separate the drugmaker’s chief executive officer and chairman roles.

Appaloosa, led by billionaire David Tepper, has been pressing Allergan since last year to separate the two roles.

Allergan said last month it would split the roles, but only at its next leadership change. Appaloosa had termed Allergan’s decision as “meaningless series of gestures” and called for a more immediate change.

Recommendations from the two proxy firms gives firepower to CEO Saunders ahead of Allergan’s May 1 shareholder meeting where investors will vote either for or against Appaloosa’s proposal.

“Their recommendations affirm our position that our plan to adopt separate Chair and CEO positions with the next leadership transition is the best approach for Allergan shareholders,” Allergan’s board said in a statement.

Both ISS and Glass Lewis have asked shareholders to vote in favor of all of Allergan’s proposals.

(This story has been refiled to correct the name of hedge fund to Appaloosa LP from Appaloosa Plc in paragraph 1)

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