Wynnefield Capital Management LLC filed a lawsuit in a Nevada state court last week as a dissident shareholder action against Omega Protein (OME) trying to force OME to share confidential shareholder information OME says is specifically to be kept confidential under Nevada law. OME said, “Omega will vigorously defend this lawsuit and plans to seek an expedited hearing in court and pursue any available remedies against Wynnefield’s wasteful actions.”
OME further stated in their statement to shareholders that Wynnefield’s attempt to muddy the waters for their own gain is adverse to OME’s shareholders best interest. Though OME did not get in the way of Wynnefield sending out proxy requests to OME shareholders, OME requests their shareholders send a strong message by signing the OME (white) proxy cards rather than the ones supplied by Wynnefield.
Wynnefield and various affiliates own 7.9% of the outstanding shares of OME and part of what they want to accomplish is Michael Christodolou’s election as the Nominee Superior to Gary Ermers as current director.
The lawsuit asks for all stockholder lists held by the company and also requests a temporary stay of OME’s annual shareholder meeting scheduled for June 28th. The stay would allow Wynnefield to review the records they’ve requested to verify they have all active shareholders and have had a chance to contact them with proxy cards.
Both sides of this battle seem reasonable, as well they should with good PR helping in the presentation. Wynnefield says they have every right to the information, and it’s necessary for them to run an effective proxy bid. They feel the current director is causing harm to the value of the company, that he was not elected to the position, has no prior board experience, and was at the helm as the OME faced problems with the Human Nutrition disaster. At the end of May, Wynnefield filed a definitive proxy statement and related attachments with the SEC and began mailing copies of the same to shareholders with the beginning of June.
From OME’s view, Wynnefield is throwing a lot of mud around hoping something will stick, but in the process costing a lot of time, money, and company resources in a useless battle.If you are a nominal shareholder of OME and want to review documents mentioned above, go to sec.gov to find the contact information.