UPDATED: Dillard's Stock Up, NY Investors Out

by Gwen Moritz  on Monday, May. 18, 2009 10:22 am  

Barington Capital Group of New York, led by James A. Mitarotonda, has sold most of its shares in Dillard's Inc.

Dillard's Inc. stock shot up almost 20 percent in early trading on Monday, the first session following the announcement late Friday of a surprisingly profitable first quarter.

At Saturday's short-and-sweet annual shareholders' meeting, it was announced that shareholders had re-elected the four directors installed last year to avoid a proxy fight with activist investors. Curiously, those investment groups have recently reduced their holdings in the Arkansas department store chain.

Barington Capital Group of New York, led by James A. Mitarotonda, filed on Friday a quarterly Form 13F with the Securities & Exchange Commission showing that it owned only 1,634 shares of Dillard's stock valued at approximately $9,000 as of March 31. That compared with 828,445 shares valued at $3.3 million as of Dec. 31 and 1.99 million shares at the end of 2007.

The Clinton Group also sold some 530,000 shares of Dillard's stock during the first quarter, declaring less than 1.1 million shares as of March 31 on its Form 13F filed in April. The Clinton Group's CEO, George Hall, has frequently joined Mitarotonda in public letters of frustration with the management of Dillard's, including one as recently as December.

Julie Bull, spokeswoman for Dillard's Inc., said the company would not comment on the holdings of stockholders. Mitarotonda did not respond to an e-mail sent Sunday, and the voice-mail system at Barington Capital would not accept a message for him Monday morning.

Nick White of Rogers, one of the directors selected to represent Class A shareholders last year, told ArkansasBusiness.com he was unaware of the stock sell-off by Barington. Another Class A director, Brad Martin of Memphis, sent word through an assistant that he was not associated with Barington and had no insight into the new disclosure.

Eight of the 12 directors are elected directly by the Dillard family as holders of Class B stock. Five of them are members of the Dillard family.

New York Post

Meanswhile, the New York Post published on Sunday an anonymously sourced article alleging a "family feud" inside Dillard's Inc. 



Please read our comments policy before commenting.