Hedge Fund Barrington Drops Board Slate

Oct 10 2007 | 7:08am ET

A group of hedge funds led by Barington Capital Group has struck a deal with consumer products company Lancaster Colony Corp., dropping a plan to nominate director candidates in exchange for concessions from management.

Under the deal, Columbus, Ohio-based Lancaster Colony has agreed to name an independent director acceptable to Barington, form a task force to “work on improving its operations, productivity and profitability,” as well as to consider “strategic alternatives” for its nonfood businesses, and establish a repurchase program and “corporate governance initiatives.” In return, the Barington group has withdrawn its three board nominees.

In June, Barington CEO James Mitaronda, whose firm owns 5.6% of Lancaster Colony, savaged the company’s CEO, John Gerlach, accusing him of running the company like a “private, family-owned business,” and calling on the board of directors to rein him in.

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