Barrington Broadside Demands Company’s Books

Jul 24 2007 | 10:39am ET

A trio of hedge funds, led by Barrington Capital Group, is pushing for changes at Lancaster Colony Corp., demanding copies of certain books and records to probe “deficiencies or improprieties in the management or operations” of the company.

New York-based Barrington said Ohio law permitted it to look into the specialty foods, glassware and candle company’s books.

“Lancaster is a publicly-traded corporation, not a privately-owned family business,” Barrington’s James Mitaronda wrote in a letter dated Sunday and filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday. “Unfortunately, it seems as if the company is being run as if it was.”

The Gerlach family, which founded Lancaster Colony, remains its largest shareholder. In the past, Barrington has argued that the Gerlachs have too much control over the company, and complained about its anti-takeover measures.

Barrington, which is backed by fellow hedge fund D.B. Zwirn Partners and RJG Capital Partners, is Lancaster Colony’s largest outside shareholder with a 5.3% stake.

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