UPPER SADDLE RIVER, N.J. — Western Union Corp. said Thursday that it had closed the polls for a thrice-delayed shareholder vote on a vital part of the telecommunication concern's restructuring plan, which company officials consider necessary to financial good health.
A shareholder meeting for balloting also was adjourned for the corporation's chief subsidiary, Western Union Telegraph.
Spokesman Don Dutcher said the shareholder meeting will be reconvened Monday to announce the results of the balloting.
Voters were deciding on a merger of the two entities, one proposal in a plan to reorganize the telegraph pioneer that company officials say may be necessary to avoid seeking protection from creditors under federal bankruptcy laws.
Burdened with debt, the company that provides domestic telegraph services has been seeking approval of a restructuring plan that would exchange most of its obligations to creditors with new issues of preferred stock.
Also on Thursday, Western Union Corp. Chairman Robert S. Leventhal said a former dissident shareholder had agreed to drop a lawsuit challenging the restructuring and to vote in favor of it.
Leventhal said the shareholder, Marcello Valenzano, had been invited to join the board of the proposed restructured Western Union. Valenzano's company, Abcotek Technology Cos. of Flushing, N.Y., owns 5.4% of one series of the company's preferred stock.
Valenzano said he would recommend the new board form an ad-hoc committee to advise it.
Based in Upper Saddle River, N.J., Western Union has nearly 14,000 employees and more than 35,000 shareholders.