Rural/Metro meets with Accipter - East Valley Tribune: Business

Rural/Metro meets with Accipter

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Posted: Thursday, October 11, 2007 11:16 pm | Updated: 6:57 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

The board of directors of Rural/Metro Corp. had a discussion Wednesday with a disgruntled stockholder who wants to fill three spaces on the board with its own candidates.

Accipiter Capital Management is the Scottsdale-based company’s largest stockholder, with nearly 15 percent of outstanding shares.

The company is under the gun with investors, creditors and Nasdaq for failing to file its year-end financial results for the 12 months that ended June 30. It also has to file multiple restatements because of accounting errors.

Rural/Metro’s board agreed last week to meet with Accipiter.

A majority of the board attended the three-hour meeting.

“It was a forum in which Accipiter could share its ideas with the board,” said Liz Merritt, Rural/Metro’s corporate spokeswoman. “The board felt it had a good, constructive conversation with Accipiter. In terms of what’s next, the board will thoughtfully evaluate the issues discussed at the meeting.”

Accipiter was unavailable for comment.

“If there are any material developments, we will report them,” Merritt said.

Stockholders are increasingly frustrated by Rural/ Metro’s apparent unwillingness to address its financial problems, which they believe the company has been downplaying for some time. Accipiter is being joined by Stadium Capital Management, which owns 11.5 percent of outstanding shares, in calling for action to improve performance.

Rural/Metro’s annual stockholders meeting is scheduled for Feb. 28.

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