Shareholders Vow To Fight Phone Deal

A merger by Pacific Telecom and PacifiCorp has left some disgruntled investors vowing to seek higher prices for their shares either through negotiations or the courts.

Shareholders of the Vancouver, Wash.-based Pacific Telecom on Wednesday narrowly approved merging with Portland-based PacifiCorp.

The deal, approved by 52 percent of the 5.3 million minority-owned shares, would give Pacific Telecom stockholders $30 per share.

Brian Shipman, an analyst with the New York-based Gabelli & Co. Inc, said acceptance of the price was “a complete abandonment of a fiduciary responsibility.”

Gabelli is seeking “dissenters’ rights” under the Washington Business Corporation Act, Shipman said.

This means that if the parties can’t negotiate a fair value for the shares of investors who filed an objection to the $30-per-share price before the merger vote, a court will set the price for their shares.

Gabelli argued a fair value would be more than $50 a share. The stock closed Thursday at $30.375 a share, unchanged.

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