A Virginia thrift company is battling the advances of activist investor Jerry Shearer, whose investment group is trying to put three of its own on the board.

The conflict between Mr. Shearer's group, Mid-Atlantic Investors, and Cenit Bancorp, Norfolk, is expected to come to a head at Cenit's annual meeting April 23. Shareholders will be able to vote on Mid-Atlantic's nominations for three outside directors and the group's request that an investment banker be hired to determine Cenit's worth.

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