Hedge Fund Sees Opportunity On Gyrodyne’s Board

Nov 8 2006 | 3:34pm ET

One-time helicopter manufacturer Gyrodyne Company of America’s board of directors is in danger of being grounded.

Activist hedge fund Opportunity Partners now owns nearly one-fifth of the Saint James, N.Y.-based company, it said in a regulatory filing, and has nominated three candidates for its nine-member board of directors. The Phillip Goldstein-run fund, which in April sought to acquire the whole of Gyrodyne for about $60 million, also announced its intention to trash the company’s poison pill.

Gyrodyne, which got out of the helicopter-making business in the 1970s, transforming itself into a real estate holding company, has proposed expanding the size of its board, as well as purchasing 10 buildings in Port Jefferson Station, N.Y. Last year, the State University of New York at Stony Brook condemned nearly 80% of the company’s flagship property, Flowerfield, in Saint James.

According to Opportunity’s 13D/A filing, both actions are “inconsistent” with Gyrodyne President and CEO Stephen Maroney’s statement in April that “our goal is to put the maximum amount of cash or marketable securities in the hands of our shareholders in a tax-efficient manner.”

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