Tuesday, February 24, 2009

PL Capital and BARI

PL Capital Group is callenging the board of directors of Bancorp Rhode Island (Nasdaq: BARI), soliciting proxies from fellow shareholders for its own slate of three nominees to the board of directors.

One of those nominees, Daniel J. Mullane, said in a statement, "I believe I fully understand, and know how to meet, the challenges of growing a financial services organization in New England, including meeting the financial services needs of individuals and businesses, while enhancing the profitability andvalue of the business."

The principals of PL Capital (John Palmer and Richard Lashley) are taking the third swing at the ball. They've waged two proxy fights in the last couple of years trying to get seats on this board, to no avail.

Mullane seems to be a new convert to their cause.

In an SEC filing, Palmer and Lashley have explained their persistence this way: "The fact that we lost the proxy contest in the past two years does not invalidate our views. It just means that many shareholders (and ISS) gave BancorpRI the benefit of the doubt in the prior years’ elections. In hindsight, this appears to be a mistake, in our view, given the results."

That's the spirit!

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