Astoria Financial Corp.'s deal to buy Long Island Savings Bank is drawing fire from a key shareholder even before it closes.
"We will not hesitate to encourage a change in management ... or a sale of the company" if the deal does not produce projected results, said the shareholder, John Kanas, in a letter to Astoria chairman George Engleke.
Mr. Kanas is chairman of the acquisitive North Fork Bancorp., here, which lost Long Island Bancorp to Astoria in a bidding war earlier this year. Through stock purchases made during the battle, North Fork is positioned to be merged company's largest institutional shareholder.
The deal, worth $1.8 billion in April when it was announced, is scheduled to close at the end of the month.
Mr. Engleke said North Fork will not be disappointed. "We are confidant that we will achieve our financial and strategic objectives after completing the acquisition," he wrote in response to Mr. Kanas.