Sunday, March 18, 2007

Friendly's Update

Front page article in Globe today on the status of Friendly's, and the deteriorating relationship between co-founders and brothers Pres and Curtis Blake. The current management of the company has engaged Goldman Sachs to consider selling it, but at the same time has reached out to Curtis Blake to have him convince his older brother not to vote his shares with a hedge fund that has a significant position:

After meeting with the executives for a few hours at his home, the younger Blake the next morning faxed a handwritten, five-page letter to his older brother. The siblings, who started Friendly's during the Great Depression, live just 12 miles apart but haven't spoken to each other in more than a year because of a falling-out over the business. But Curtis broke the silence to protect Friendly's from what he called "a corporate raider."

"Our company is now in a very precarious position," Curtis wrote in January. "You alone are now in the position to control the entire future"...

"I'm sorry my brother isn't with me on this," Prestley said, "but I'm going to keep going because I know I'm right. I'm going to keep going until I can't go any further."

Said Curtis: "I'm very disappointed. He was my best friend for 85 years. It would have been a nice story if we ended up best friends for our entire life."

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