Dissident Stockholders of Chicago Thrift See Proposals Rejected at Annual Meeting

Article excerpt

An attempt by dissident shareholders to gain control of North Bancshares has failed to win majority support of stockholders.

At a testy annual meeting held last month, the thrift's shareholders voted down the dissidents' proposal to limit the board of directors' terms and to repeal the supermajority required to pass company initiatives. The dissidents presented their proposals to protest poor performance at $123 million-asset North and its board's rejection of a buyout offer from Success Bancshares, Lincolnshire, Ill.

Last fall Success offered $33 per share for North, more than two times its book value.

"The fact is, our company is one of the worst-performing S&Ls in the nation," said Robert R. Yohanan, who with his wife owns about 50,000 shares of North's stock. "We barely earned more than the rate of inflation."

North's return on equity for the fourth quarter was 4.32%, less than half the average for thrifts with $100 million to $300 million of assets.

Mr. Yohanan, who is president and chief executive officer of First Bank and Trust in nearby Evanston, Ill., sponsored two shareholder proposals. One would have required board members to stand for election each year, and the other would have let shareholders with a 10% stake call impromptu meetings. …