Don Mar­gotta, a finance pro­fessor who has written exten­sively about hos­tile takeovers at North­eastern Uni­ver­sity in Boston, said that stag­gered board struc­ture “is very effec­tive in fighting off takeovers, or at least slowing them down.”

On top of that, Mar­gotta said, are Ohio laws that pre­vent investors from buying more than 20 per­cent of a com­pany without per­mis­sion from other share­holders. That law could stop Schulman from get­ting enough votes to win seats on Ferro’s board.

Still, with an offer on the table and share­holders howling for change, Mar­gotta and Johnson said the board will be under pressure.

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