ADP seeks to fend off Ackman's Pershing Square

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He has also openly called for the capital management company to replace CEO Carlos Rodriguez. "However, ADP has a clearly defined Board nomination process, and the 2017 deadline for director nominations has been public for almost a year", the company said. We also discussed the need for transformational change at the company and expressed a willingness to work with existing management or, alternatively, an external CEO candidate, to effectuate that change.

"ADP is open to constructive input from our shareholders, and our Board respects the right of shareholders to nominate directors", Automatic Data Processing said in a statement. According to the company, Bill Ackman is seeking an extension to its nomination period for members of its Board of Directors. Pershing Square was reportedly offered 11.10 to 11.40 each for shares that, at their late 2015 high, traded at 263.81.

Shares in Chipotle, on which Pershing Square spent about $1.17 billion previous year, are down more than 17 percent since the stake was disclosed. It defended Mr. Rodriguez and the board and took a swipe at Mr. Ackman's own investing performance, which has lagged.

New York-based Pershing Square typically buys large stakes in a handful of big companies and agitates executives and directors to make changes to boost shareholder returns. He was an outspoken critic of the company, betting $US1 billion against it.

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But ADP is pushing back, touting its total shareholder return of 202% since Rodriguez took the helm and contrasting it to Pershing's return of 29%.

In pre-market activity, shares were trading at $114.99, up 2.88 percent.

Pershing owns 8 percent of ADP, which processes checks for about 20 percent of the USA work force.

On Friday morning, ADP's announcement of Ackman's desire barely registered with investors.

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