MI DEVELOPMENTS UNDER FIRE FOR IGNORING MINOR OFFER

by | 11.17.2010 | 12:46am

By Ray Paulick

MI Developments, the publicly traded real estate concern that is the largest single shareholder in racetrack operator Magna Entertainment, is under fire again from one of its biggest shareholders, this time for ignoring an offer from technology entrepreneur Halsey Minor to buy the outstanding loans Magna Entertainment has been unable to repay to its parent company.

Minor made an offer last month to buy Magna Entertainment's debt obligation and went public Oct. 17 after failing to get a response from the MI Developments board.

David Einhorn, the president of the Greenlight Capital investment fund that owns 10% of the Class A shares in MI Developments, is demanding that the MI Developments board of directors give serious consideration to Minor's offer without interference from Frank Stronach, who controls both MI Developments and Magna Entertainment. Einhorn expressed his demands in a letter to the MI Developments board filed with the Securities Exchange Commission on Tuesday. Greenlight has had a longstanding battle with MI Developments and lost an earlier lawsuit against the company alleging shareholders were oppressed by board of director decisions.

The demands  from Einhorn come two weeks after a similar letter was written to the MI Developments board by a managing member of the Farallon Capital Management investment fund, threatening legal action and alleging breach of fiduciary responsibility.

Einhorn's letter accuses the MI Developments board and CEO Dennis Mills of making “false and misleading” promises and says that ignoring Minor's offer was a “clear violation of the board's fiduciary duty and duty of care to its shareholders.”

The letter says MI Developments board members “continue to abandon ship,” and accuses Stronach of stacking the board with “cronies” and “childhood friends.”

“The MID board has a long history of ignoring our letters, and those of other large MID shareholders,” Einhorn writes. “The MID board can not continue to stick its head in the sand and ignore the wishes of an overwhelming majority of the MID shareholders.

“Since ignoring the Minor Offer is clearly a violation of the MID board's duties, we expect, and demand as shareholders of MID, that the MID board immediately take up serious consideration of the Minor Offer without Mr. Stronach's interference. Any transaction in which MID can be rid of its unlimited and never-ending exposure to MEC must be taken seriously. We minority shareholders rely on you to protect our interests from Mr. Stronach's uneconomic and self-serving support of MEC and remind you that you will be held accountable if you fail to fulfill your fiduciary duty to the MID shareholders.”

Click here to read the Einhorn letter.

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