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Donnelly: no plan for meeting to discuss Heartland ideas

US-based Donnelly Corp. said it has no plans to call a special meeting in response to Heartland Advisors Inc.“s five suggestions to increase shareholder value, although the company is considering the…

US-based Donnelly Corp. said it has no plans to call a special meeting in response to Heartland Advisors Inc.“s five suggestions to increase shareholder value, although the company is considering the proposals. “We“re talking with (Heartland) on an ongoing basis,” Donnelly spokeswoman Barb Reuschel said. “They are very complimentary toward us.” Investment advisory firm Heartland had put forward the five suggestions in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission 21 August. Reuschel said the auto parts supplier is considering Heartland“s proposals to set up a single class of stock, establish share repurchase programs, conduct insider purchases, explore strategic alternatives such as going private, and not to increase the dividend rate. Heartland“s vice president of equity Analysis David Fondrie said Tuesday he is confident the suggestions are being taken into consideration. “The company has been quite constructive in the past and I am certain the board will give (our proposals) appropriate consideration,” Fondrie said. Other shareholders are just as frustrated as we are.” Fondrie said Heartland, which has a 27.3% stake in the company, has spoken to Donnelly representatives by phone but hasn“t had any face-to-face meetings and has no plans to request a special meeting. Heartland said in the filing that Donnelly“s sixth consecutive quarter of record operating performance hasn“t been reflected in the company“s stock price. Fondrie said a value of “something over US$ 20 isn“t unreasonable” for shares of Donnelly“s common stock. Reuschel said automotive industry stocks as a whole are undervalued. Fondrie agreed, adding that recent events haven“t helped the situation. “It“s a function of the market right now for any auto supplier stock, especially with the recent Firestone announcement, there“s more pressure on that sector as a whole,” he said, referring to Firestone“s recent decision to recall some of its tires because of a tread-separation problem.

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