Boca Raton, FL—On March 21, 2012, Bulldog Investors submitted an Amended Statement of Beneficial Ownership for Imperial Holdings, LLC (NYSE: IFT). The enclosed documentation contained a letter from Philip Goldstein of Bulldog Investors detailing the latest in Imperial’s shareholder saga.
As previously reported on March 2, 2012, Bulldog Investors sent a letter to Imperial Holdings about their ongoing cash drain from their massive legal spending. In addition, the letter wanted at least two independent directors to resign from Imperial’s board to be replaced with directors who had significant ownership.
On March 9, 2012, Michael Altschuler, Imperial's General Counsel replied to Bulldog Investors stating the board was not able to provide a response. As a result, on March 14, 2012, Bulldog Investors served Imperial with a complaint filed in Palm Beach County compelling the company to hold its annual meeting.
Imperial announced on March 19, 2012, that they could not file their annual report and would have to reschedule the annual meeting.
In the most recent Bulldog Investments letter, Goldstein states that they believe the cancelation of the annual meeting is an attempt by the “independent directors to delay their inevitable ouster.” The letter also informs the company that their affiliate Opportunity Partners. L.P., plans to nominate the following directors to the board Antony Mitchell and Jonathan Neuman, the two interested directors, and Gerald Hellerman, James Chadwick, Richard Dayan, Andrew Dakos, and Phillip Goldstein to be independent directors.
In addition, the plan to introduce a proposal stating that any settlement between Imperial and a government agency for more than $1 million needs to be ratified by Imperial’s shareholders.
Currently Jonathan Neuman is on a leave of absence from the company and Antony Mitchell has been assuming his duties. No announcements regarding Neuman’s return as well as Imperial’s legal troubles or their shareholder class action lawsuit at this time.
President and COO of Imperial Holdings, Jonathan Neuman, will take a 4 month leave of absence starting January 27, 2012, a company spokesperson said.
The Boca Raton based company had their offices raided in September by Federal authorities due to an investigation by the US Attorney’s office in New Hampshire. The South Florida Business Journal has also reported that Neuman was the only company official targeted by Federal investigators.
Previously, Imperial Holdings announced that the investigation was into its life settlement business not its structured settlement business. Imperial has denied any wrongdoings and no other company officials are being targeted in the probe.
Numerous shareholder class action securities fraud lawsuits have been filed against the company and their shares closed at $2.37. Antony Mitchell, CEO and Chairman of the Board will resume Neuman’s duties.