Apple is no stranger to lawsuits, but the latest legal skirmish is unorthodox when compared to the intellectual property and patent-related matters that usually deliver Apple to the courtroom.

Prominent hedge fund manager David Einhorn, who oversees management of Greenlight Capital, has filed a lawsuit against Apple in response to a growing "cash problem" the company purportedly exhibits. Blasting Apple's hoarding tendencies, Einhorn says Apple's $137 billion in cash-on-hand shouldn't be so far removed from shareholders.

Greenlight is backing the lawsuit in federal court, hoping it will force Apple to modify a proposal in its proxy. Specifically, Greenlight is opposed to a proposal that would remove Apple's ability to issue preferred stock from its charter.

Greenlight is encouraging investors to vote against "Proposal 2" when the Apple shareholder meeting takes place in three weeks on February 27.

Einhorn, a well-known short seller, is long on Apple shares. In a television interview on Thursday, he said that while he admires the company, it has a "cash problem" that it needs to fix by giving away perpetual preferred stock with a 4 percent yield.
"We believe Apple must examine all of its options to unlock the growing value of its balance sheet for all shareholders," Einhorn says. "Over the past several months, we have had an ongoing dialogue with Apple regarding one option to do so, namely the creation of a new security, a perpetual preferred stock that would be distributed at no cost to Apple's existing shareholders, and would provide an attractive, sustainable dividend while preserving Apple's financial resources to pursue its business strategy."

Source: Reuters