Harley-Davidson and Impala Call a Truce Over Board Battle

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What a difference a week makes. Just seven days ago, we reported to you the fight that was brewing internally at Harley-Davidson, where investor Impala Asset Management was vying to put two additional board members on the corporate board for Harley-Davidson.

For those that missed the story, Impala (which now owns close to 2% of Harley-Davidson’s public stock) has grown increasingly upset with the direction of the Bar & Shield brand.

The investment group was the major pushing force for the ouster of former Harley-Davidson CEO Matt Levatich, and has been critical of the American motorcycle brand’s focus on segments outside of its core business, namely anything isn’t a cruiser-styled motorcycle.

All of this has come to head though, according to a report from Reuters, which says that Harley-Davidson and Impala have come to an accord that will see Impala place a  new, mutually agreed upon, board member on Harley-Davidson’s Board of Directors.

Who that person will be remains to be seen. But, we do know that it will not be someone working for Impala, nor will it be one of the two names previously put forth by the investing group: Brent Dewar or Leo Hindery, Jr.

The picking of this new board member will come during a Harley-Davidson’s shareholder meeting, which will occur before July 31st.

Today’s headline helps ease the tension in the Harley-Davidson ranks, and news of this development sent HOG stock up by over a half of a percentage point.

Surely, a large driving factor in the truce between Harley-Davidson and Impala is the coronavirus outbreak, which has caused the Bar & Shield brand to close all of its US factories, after an employee tested positive for the virus.

With chaos likely still to come for the US motorcycle market, it would seem that for now Harley-Davidson has bigger fish to fry, though we suspect as things return back to something closer to normal, we could see the feud ignite some more…especially if Harley-Davidson picks a new CEO that doesn’t pass the Impala test.

Stay tuned, this isn’t the last we have seen on this topic.

Source: Reuters