Myers Industries Inc. and its largest shareholder have decided to go steady after years of proxy contest drama.
Akron-based Myers on Friday said it and GAMCO Asset Management Inc. have agreed that GAMCO’s director nominee may run on the same slate as Myers’ board candidates.
The agreement ends a long-running proxy contest waged by Rye, N.Y.-based GAMCO, founded and run by activist investor Mario Gabelli.
GAMCO owns about 15.7 percent of Myers Industries stock — a bit more than 5.3 million shares. Myers Industries declined to comment beyond what was printed in regulatory filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
“The company and GAMCO have determined that they can best serve the company’s shareholders by resolving this proxy contest and seeking to work together in a productive manner,” Myers Industries said in a letter included with a revised proxy and sent to shareholders. The letter asks shareholders to submit their votes using a new proxy card.
This was the fifth year in a row GAMCO, a longtime Myers shareholder, had waged a proxy contest. The investment firm failed in all previous attempts to get its candidates elected to the board.
GAMCO had criticized Myers’ board and top executives, saying it had little confidence the company was taking the necessary steps to enhance shareholder value.
GAMCO’s candidate this year is Daniel R. Lee, 56, the managing partner of casino developer Creative Casinos LLC. He also serves as a director of GAMCO subsidiary Gabelli Securities.
Myers said it agreed to increase from nine to 10 the number of seats on its board to accommodate the addition of Lee, pending shareholder approval. Directors are elected to one-year terms.
Myers Industries’ annual meeting is at 9 a.m. April 26 at its training center on South Main Street.
The company makes plastic and rubber products and distributes specialized tire and motor vehicle tools. It posted a profit of $29.9 million on $791.2 million in revenue last year.
Shares of Myers Industries on Friday rose 4 cents to $13.14. Shares are down 12.8 percent, including dividends, since Jan. 1 and are down 18.4 percent from a year ago.
Jim Mackinnon can be reached at 330-996-3544 or email@example.com.