Investor ups pressure on Regent


Riley Investment Management isn't backing down from its efforts to force a sale of the assets of Regent Communications (4/5/07 RBR #67). In its latest move, Riley is seeking to expand the Regent board of directors and place four people of its choosing in the new seats.

In its latest SEC filing, Riley says it now owns 7.4% of Regent's public stock, up from the 6.5% it held in April. In a letter dated July 19th and headed "Demand to call a special meeting," Riley requested that Regent call a special meeting of shareholders for September 3rd in Cincinnati to amend the company's bylaws and elect John Ahn, Bob D'Agostino, Jared Davis and Joseph Patrick Hannan to the board of directors. They would fill four proposed new seats, expanding the board to nine members from the current five.

The immediate reaction from Regent CEO Bill Stakelin was to shrug off the dissident shareholder, telling RBR that the company had not received a legitimate request for a special meeting. "When and if we do the company will respond and deal with it," he said in an email.

SmartMedia observation: Riley's letter indicates that it is no longer acting alone. It requests that Regent management set the meeting for September 3rd, as requested, upon receipt of requests from shareholders holding a total of 20% of Regent's stock. That seems to indicate that Riley has lined up support from shareholders with at least 12.6% of Regent's stock in addition to that held by Riley. We wait to see if those other letters are forthcoming.