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Rand Capital shareholders approve contested deal with Pegulas

Rand Capital Corp. shareholders approved selling a majority stake in the Buffalo venture capital firm to Terry and Kim Pegula.

As a result, the Pegulas will own a 57% stake in Rand through their East Asset Management business. The deal is expected to close in the second half of the year.

"We are pleased that shareholders confirmed their support for management to advance this transformational transaction and provide a path for enhanced shareholder returns," said Pete Grum, Rand's president and CEO. "We look forward to a strong future with East Asset Management."

The $25 million deal with the owners of the Bills and Sabres was approved over the objections of Rand's largest individual shareholder, Texas-based User-Friendly Phone Book. Bruce Howard, the CEO of User-Friendly Phone Book, tried to rally shareholders to vote against the deal, claiming that the Pegulas' offer substantially undervalued Rand's investments.

Grum, ahead of the vote, said the deal was "in the best interest of all shareholders and enables a future that we expect will be demonstrably better than if we were to maintain the status quo."

The tally was 3,452,801 shares in favor of the sale, with 2,510,926 against and 1,365 abstentions. The results are subject to certification by an independent inspector of election.

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