Magazine article American Banker

Vote Held on Dissident's Proposal That S. Carolina Thrift Be Sold

Magazine article American Banker

Vote Held on Dissident's Proposal That S. Carolina Thrift Be Sold

Article excerpt

Management of South Carolina's third-largest thrift faced an uphill battle Tuesday as shareholders gathered to decide the future of the company.

Shareholders of Palfed Inc., Aiken, voted on a dissident proposal for a nonbinding resolution calling on the board to seek acquirers for the $663 million-asset company.

Palfed's management has been trying to ward off Mid-Atlantic Investors, a Columbia, S.C., investors group that has challenged thrift managements across the Southeast. Mid-Atlantic controls 9.9% of Palfed.

Palfed officials Tuesday said the final tally would not be available until early next week. Many shareholders changed their votes "four, five, or even six times before the final vote was taken," said Howard Hickey, Palfed's general counsel and inspector o f elections.

Mid-Atlantic managing partner H. Jerry Shearer said that his proxy solicitor's pre-meeting survey indicated shareholders would side with him. Mr. Hickey would not make a prediction on the fate of the dissident proposal. In a separate vote, he said, manage ment's unopposed slate of directors was supported by more than 80% of the thrift's shares.

The Palfed fight is just one in a series of management-shareholder spats at thrifts up and down the East Coast in the last two years.

Mid-Atlantic got a boost in its fight against Palfed management when another major investor threw support its way.

John Hancock Advisors of Boston, which owns 8% of Palfed's outstanding common stock, said Friday it would vote in favor of selling the thrift. …

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