Citadel Holding Corp. on Tuesday suddenly postponed its annual meeting, which had been scheduled for this morning in Burbank.
The move effectively headed off a confrontation between Citadel, parent firm of Fidelity Federal Savings & Loan Assn., and dissident shareholder Alfred Roven, a Los Angeles real estate developer and investor. The news also comes on the heels of the announcement Monday that Great Western Financial Corp. had agreed to acquire Citadel for $109 million in stock.
The annual meeting has been rescheduled for July 17, at which time shareholders will be asked to approve the Great Western sale and the election of directors, Citadel said. Roven, who controls 9.1% of Citadel's stock, has been waging a proxy fight to elect his own slate of directors to Citadel's board.
Spencer Scott, Citadel's chairman, said the move was taken so that the election of directors and the voting on the merger could be accomplished through a consolidated proxy solicitation. However, an attorney for Roven, Stephen Silbert, said he was "mystified" by the sudden move.
"Lots of people from around the country are here for this meeting," Silbert noted.
Citadel officials will be on hand at the Burbank Holiday Inn to apologize to those shareholders who didn't get the word, Scott said.