Tytkson Asks Court to Reject Results of WLR Election

Article excerpt

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) _ Tyson Foods Inc. asked a federal judge Thursday to throw out the results of an election in which the majority of WLR Foods Inc. shareholders rejected Tyson's hostile takeover bid.

"We didn't get a fair vote," James Blair, vice president of the nation's largest poultry producer, told U.S. District Judge James H. Michael.

Tyson, which wants to buy WLR for about $330 million, contends that 1.8 million shares were improperly cast by WLR board members and others closely involved with the management of WLR, which is based in Broadway, Va.

Tyson has poultry operations in Oklahoma.

Tyson attorney Thomas Ferrell argued that WLR board members kept recent purchasers of their stock from voting 500,000 shares by setting the voting eligibility date with no advance notice.

And Ferrell said WLR tainted the results by telling shareholders before the election Saturday that it had more than enough votes to win.

"Some would vote for us only if we had a chance to win," Blair said.

WLR attorney Douglas Guynn told the judge that even if all of the contested votes went to Tyson, WLR would still have the majority needed to reject the $30 a share offer. …