Fortress Dillard's: A Thorn in the Side of Investors, Analysts

by Gwen Moritz  on Monday, Oct. 1, 2007 12:00 am  

Specifically, she said, she had discussions with General Counsel Paul Schroeder. "I'm sure Paul was talking to us with the agreement [of the upper management]."

But that interest waned, "and we haven't been able to talk to them for about two years. And that's what's prompted us to file this resolution."

CBIS sometimes files resolutions to get the attention of other shareholders rather than out of any real expectation that managers or directors will respond, Tanner acknowledged.

"There are situations where there is very little that a shareholder can do to try to change what is currently happening," she said. But every once in a while, there is a breakthrough.

"One company that looked like it would never change is Tyco," Tanner said, citing an example that Dillard's surely doesn't hope to follow. "Every year we'd trudge down to the annual meeting ... and the company would never change. And people said, ÔWhy don't you just sell?'"

Then, in 2005, CEO Dennis Kozlowski and CFO Mark Swartz were convicted of stealing hundreds of millions of dollars from the company.

"The Dennis Kozlowski situation brought in a whole new management," Tanner said. "Dillard's is part of our portfolio, and once we sell we lose our leverage as an investor."



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