Orange County Business Journal

Highfields Aims to Put 3 on CoreLogic Board

REAL ESTATE: Hedge fund’s choices seen as move on CEO Mark Mueller Sunday, May 6, 2012

CoreLogic had $358 million in revenue last quarter, up 13% from year-ago levels. It posted $29.1 million in net income from continuing operations for the quarter, up almost 35% from a year ago.

The latest earnings report and recent stock jump appear insufficient to keep Highfields from pushing additional actions at the company, which is slated to move its headquarters to the Irvine Spectrum later this year.

Highfields’ ire was raised in late February, when CoreLogic announced it had concluded a strategic review launched last summer with a decision not to put the company up for sale. It opted for restructuring moves including cutting costs, shutting some sizable operations outside Orange County and shedding some noncore assets.

The moves were supported by First American, which now operates under the First American Financial Corp. name. The title insurance company owns about the same amount of CoreLogic shares as Highfields after shedding about a third of its shares last year.

First American also is familiar to board nominee Christenson. The former chief financial officer of Las Vegas-based Station Casinos Inc. was one of five board members added to First American’s board in 2008 in a shake-up also instigated in part by Highfields, which at the time was a large shareholder in First American Corp.

The investor also was believed to be a driving force in the early-2008 decision to split the company’s title insurance and data analytic operations into separate businesses, which resulted in the CoreLogic spin-off.

The separation of the two companies was delayed for about two years amid the turbulent economy and tough mortgage and real estate conditions.

Christenson stepped down from First American Financial’s board about a year ago, saying he “objected to the processes by which the board of directors of the company’s former parent company arrived at certain decisions,” according to regulatory filings.

CoreLogic said in March that it had postponed its annual meeting until the summer, in order to allow an executive search firm the time to find two new board members. A date for the rescheduled meeting has yet to be announced.

The three members nominated by Highfields “have the requisite independence, knowledge and judgment necessary to help the company identify and execute on its opportunities,” the company said last week in a letter to CoreLogic.

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