An activist investor has won a proxy battle against a $121 million-asset Chicago thrift company by capturing a board seat and pushing through a shareholder proposal to consider selling the company.
Paul J. Duggan, who manages the Chicago investment firm of Jackson Boulevard Capital Management Ltd., said Monday that he had won a three-year term on PS Financial Inc.'s board.
Tallies from the company's annual meeting last Wednesday showed that his nonbinding proposal to hire an investment bank to explore a sale also was approved, with 65% of the vote.
"It's pretty clear what the shareholders want," said Mr. Duggan, who controls almost 10% of the company's stock through Jackson Boulevard. "There's no reason not to look at a sale."
Mr. Duggan said PS Financial could command at least $15 per share if a larger financial institution bought it. Its stock was trading at $11.875 a share at midday Tuesday.
Kimberly P. Rooney, the thrift company's president and chief executive officer, has opposed sale on the ground that bank and thrift stocks are trading at relatively low values.
If PS Financial were to sell now, she maintains, it would not fetch its true worth.
But Ms. Rooney added that directors plan to adhere to the vote and discuss a sale at the next board meeting, in mid-June.