Sard Verbinnen & Co. is playing defense for Navient student loan servicer in its showdown with institutional shareholders Canyon Capital Advisors and Platinum Equity Advisors

Navient, on Feb. 18, rejected as too low and highly conditional their unsolicited $3.2B "expression of interest" to acquire the Wilmington, DE-based financial services company.


Canyon withdrew its expression of interest on Feb. 20, opting instead for a proxy fight.

It will nominate a minority slate of experienced and independent directors for election at the upcoming annual meeting to "bring a fresh perspective and oversight to Navient's strategic direction, about which Canyon has significant concerns as a shareholder of over 10% of Navient's outstanding common stock.

Navient today said it would evaluate Canyon's nominee candidates and make a recommendation that is in the best interest of all shareholders.

The company is "committed to maintaining a highly qualified, diverse and independent Board and to following good governance practices that create shareholder value and serve our customers, employees and communities."

SV&C's Jim Barron and Paul Scarpetta represent Navient. Canyon relies on Brian Schaffer of Prosek Partners.