Reuters reports today that a judge has approved Apple’s request to speed up the schedule in the lawsuit filed by David Einhorn’s Greenlight Capital. The suit is part of an effort to get the company to share its huge cash reserves with investors.
U.S. District Judge Richard Sullivan of the Southern District of New York on Monday brought forward the legal schedule by a few days at Apple’s request, which argued that the issue would have a big impact on the upcoming shareholder meeting on February 27.
Apple told the judge that the request to modify the schedule had the support of Einhorn’s counsel.
Einhorn surprised Wall Street last week when he sued Apple in order to stop the iPhone maker from eliminating from its charter the ability to issue preferred stock without shareholder approval.
Einhorn wants Apple to return a bigger piece of its $137 billion cash pie to investors, via issuance of perpetual preferred shares that pay dividends to existing shareholders.
The lawsuit states that Apple has violated SEC rules that prohibit companies from “bundling” unrelated matters into a single proposal for shareholder vote.
Apple’s position is that by removing the board’s ability to issue preferred stock at its discretion they are heightening governance, because future issuances would then require shareholder approval.
Apple will file its response to the lawsuit by the end of Wednesday, and Greenlight will file its own response by Friday. Both parties have been ordered to appear for oral arguments on February 19th.