The May 11 annual shareholders meeting may very well decide whether the 101-year-old Seattle company which began as a flour mill.
According to RBR, a radio trade site:
Dissident shareholder FrontFour Capital is nominating its own slate of candidates in an attempt to take control of the board and put the company up for sale. The four would join FrontFour’s David Lorber to constitute a majority on the board.
Fisher management is pushing for its own slate of four directors, whose election would leave Lorber as a one-vote minority voice.
Fisher is urging shareholders and beating the bushes for votes to rout the New York hedge fund's slate. In a letter to shareholders:
As of March 9, 2011, FrontFour owned approximately 2% of our outstanding common stock. If all four FrontFour nominees are elected to our Board of Directors, FrontFour’s nominees (including David A. Lorber) will constitute a majority of our Board of Directors.
RBR notes that bush-beating by both sides probably won't matter as much as the vote of Mario Gabelli, whose mutual funds own 27.8% of Fisher’s stock – far more than any other shareholder. He recently told a teevee interviewer that he would be willing to sell, but not at the price being offered by FrontFour-affiliated Huntingdon REIT.
Fisher got greedy, and went to Wall Street and got that ol' easy money. They binged and built a fancy high-tech building in downtown Seattle that's been a white elephant, (now for sale) and bought a bunch of small-town teevee stations that didn't pay and that they're now struggling to sell-off.
The New York money boyz are impatient. They want out with as much dough as they can squeeze.
Fuck Seattle. Bidness is bidness.
We can't imagine why or how the Fisher management team, led by CEO Colleen Brown, is still employed. We're sure there's a gilded parachute all packed and ready, if the plane starts to go down.
It's more than sad... it's sickening.