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January 21, 2014

Shareholders fight Oxford Networks sale

Some common stock shareholders of Oxford Networks are speaking out against company leaders' plan to sell the firm to a Canadian private equity concern for $50 million.

The Bangor Daily News reported Michael Jennings, a former businessman and Harvard Business School graduate who owns a home in East Winthrop, has been a vocal opponent of the deal, saying it would return nothing for common stock shareholders upon sale of the company. A share of Oxford Networks common stock was worth $14.73 as of Dec. 31, 2012, the paper reported. Under the terms of the proposed sale, common shareholders would only receive a return whenever the acquiring firm Novacap receives a return of at least three times its initial investment and a 25% return on any post-closure investments.

Robert Strong, a professor of finance at the University of Maine, told the paper that he was hesitant to comment without reviewing the full details of the deal, but that it is "unusual" for common stock shareholders to receive nothing through such a sale.

Shareholders are expected to vote on the proposed deal Thursday during a meeting in Brunswick. The paper reported that shareholders may also request appraisal rights from the company before Wednesday's deadline, allowing a shareholder to be paid out an amount set by an appraiser before the sale. The deal would also be subject to regulatory approval.

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