Wayne Savings Bancshares in Wooster, Ohio, is facing pressure to sell itself just weeks after its CEO resigned.
Stilwell Group in New York, which owns 9.7% of Wayne Savings' stock, disclosed in a recent regulatory filing that it plans to nominate Stephen Burchett to join the $446 million-asset company's board.
The activist investor, known for launching proxy battles and for pressuring other banks to find buyers, also said it wants Wayne Savings to sell "following what we believe have been years of inadequate returns and insufficient improvement in profitability."
Burchett is a lawyer at Offutt Nord Burchett who lives in Kentucky, Stilwell said in its filing. He is also a director at Poage Bankshares, another bank that has been in Stilwell's crosshairs in recent years. Stilwell said it had granted Burchett an option to buy up to 50,000 shares of Wayne Savings' common stock.
Stilwell said Mark Alcott would be the alternate candidate for a board seat. Alcott is a lawyer at Harlin, Parker, Alcott & Chaudoin.
Wayne Savings announced last month that Stewart Fitz Gibbon had resigned and that David Lehman, a director, had become interim CEO. The company has said it plans to name a permanent successor this quarter.