By Dow Jones Business News,
May 01, 2014, 11:45:00 AM EDT
By Michael Calia
Wintergreen Advisers LLC on Thursday said it questioned whether Warren Buffett's concerns about Coca-Cola Co.'s ( KO )
2014 executive compensation plan were relayed to the beverage giant's board or compensation committee.
Wintergreen's comments come a day after The Wall Street Journal reported that Coke is likely to amend its executive-
pay plan following pressure from Mr. Buffett, whose Berkshire Hathaway Inc. is the largest shareholder in the beverage
company with a 9% stake.
Coke's voting shareholders approved the plan last week, while Mr. Buffett declined to vote against it even as he has
privately told Coke Chief Executive Muhtar Kent of his concerns. On Wednesday, Mr. Buffett said he has told Coke
executives that he believed the plan to be excessive. "I'm against the plan, and they know it," he told The Wall Street
"We would like to know whether Mr. Muhtar Kent or Mr. Howard Buffett made the Compensation Committee or the full Board
of Directors aware of Mr. Warren Buffett's views on the 2014 Equity Plan," Wintergreen Chief Executive David Winters
wrote in a publicly disclosed letter to Coke's board. "Did Mr. Buffett speak with any other Coca-Cola directors
regarding his views of the 2014 Equity Plan, and if so, when?"
Howard Buffett is Warren Buffett's son and a member of Coke's board.
Wintergreen, a smaller Coke investor, has been publicly lobbying against the pay plan--which includes issuing 340
million new shares and options over four years--arguing that it could dilute shareholders by as much as 16.6%.
Mr. Buffett told the Journal that he agreed with Mr. Winters that the plan is excessive, but he disagreed with his
Shares of Coke fell 1.3% to $40.28 in recent trading. The stock is down about 2.5% so far this year.
Write to Michael Calia at firstname.lastname@example.org
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