Goldstein’s Closed-End Enemy Launches Latest Salvo

Feb 20 2007 | 4:04pm ET

The RMR Hospitality and Real Estate Fund, the closed-end fund doing battle with activist hedge fund manager Phillip Goldstein, has opened a new front in their increasingly nasty battle.

The Newton, Mass.-based fund sent a letter to shareholders savaging Goldstein and pleading for help: “Your vote is important to help us prevent Phillip Goldstein and his ‘Bulldog’ hedge fund from taking control of your company.”

Goldstein and his firm, Bulldog Investors, “want to liquidate our company for a quick profit and then move on to their next target,” Tom O’Brien, the fund’s president, wrote in the letter. “We believe Goldstein’s track record implies that he cannot be trusted.”

Last month, Massachusetts sued Goldstein for providing information about his hedge fund to a non-accredited investor after RMR solicited a Brendan Hickey to request it, and then turned it over to the office of Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin. And RMR, which is also suing Goldstein for breaking its ownership limit, didn’t hesitate to bring up Galvin’s lawsuit in its letter. It also accuses him of bullying another mutual fund into agreeing to a “green mail” payoff and said he’s done a dismal job at a third mutual fund he took control of.

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