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iPrefs-seeking shareholder Einhorn drops Apple lawsuit

'Silly sideshow' folds its tent, moves on

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David Einhorn and his hedge fund Greenlight Capital have dropped their lawsuit against Apple.

Einhorn had sued to block a vote at Apple's investor meeting, held this Wednesday, that would have forced a shareholder vote on the issuance of higher-dividend preferred shares. Einhorn is promoting the idea of that class of shares, which he dubbed "iPrefs".

"Apple removed the bundled proposal from the shareholder meeting therefore resolving the issue," a Greenlight Capital spokesman told AllThingsD.

Not that Apple had a choice. Last Friday, a New York District Court judge issued an injunction preventing Apple from holding that vote, known as Proposition 2, agreeing with Einhorn that Security and Exchange Commission rules prevented its "bundling" of multiple measures.

Einhorn's iPrefs idea – which lives on, unaffected by Friday's withdrawal of legal action – is intended to pry loose some of Apple's ginormous cash holdings, which were reported to stand at $137.1bn in the company's most recent financial report.

Einhorn's activist-shareholder stance has inspired both plaudits and brickbats. Place Apple CEO Tim Cook firmly in the latter camp, having called the Einhorn suit a "silly sideshow" both at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet conference on February 12 and at his company's investors meeting this Wednesday.

Einhorn may now be folding that particular sideshow's tent, but don't expect him to retire his activist act entirely. ®

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