Fulfilling an agreement meant to preserve its independence, a New York company has put an activist shareholder on its board.

Under an arrangement struck last summer, Ambanc Holding Co. in Amsterdam, N.Y., had until April 1 to find a buyer or name Seymour Holtzman as a director. It chose not to sell, and announced last week that it had awarded seats to Mr. Holtzman and a local accountant, Allan R. Lyons.

Ambac, the parent of $670 million-asset Mohawk Community Bank, made the arrangement to win Mr. Holtzman's support for a deal to buy a local rival. Mr. Holtzman, who owns a 5.6% stake in Ambanc, had initially opposed the acquisition and said he would agree to it only if Ambanc itself looked for a buyer. Ambanc hired Sandler O'Neill & Partners of New York last summer to evaluate its options.

In an interview last month, Mr. Holtzman said that if named to the board he would not necessarily push for Ambanc's sale, and that he was willing to work with Ambanc's management.

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