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Kinko's Sues Founder Over Access to Files

July 20, 2002|From Bloomberg News

Kinko's Inc., the closely held operator of 1,100 photocopying and printing stores across the U.S., has sued the chain's founder and other minority shareholders over their demands to see company documents.

Kinko's claims that Paul Orfalea, who founded the company in 1970, and other minority shareholders are engaged in a "fishing expedition" with their request for corporate files in an attempt to second-guess decisions made by the company's board and management, the complaint said. The shareholders have requested documents from January 1997 through 2002.

Orfalea resigned from his position as chairman in 2000.

The company's suit, filed Thursday, asks the Los Angeles Superior Court to rule that the shareholders can access only "non-privileged" accounting books and minutes from shareholder and board meetings that occurred in California. Any further "unlawful and/or unfair inspection demands" should be barred, the suit said.

Kinko's, which is majority owned by New York-based Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, moved to Dallas earlier this year from Ventura. Orfalea founded the company at UC Santa Barbara to provide copy services to college students. He couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

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