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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Thursday, June 12, 2003

Vote count delayed on bank takeover

Advertiser Staff

The wait continues for CB Bancshares and Central Pacific Bank as a share-offer vote count was delayed yesterday in Delaware. Rich Easton, an attorney for CB Bancshares, and Laura Sparks were in Newark, Del. for the final tally.

Associated Press

CB Bancshares and Central Pacific Bank officials said the final count of a shareholder vote on the possible merger of the cross-town rivals was delayed yesterday and will likely be released today.

The vote on whether to move forward with the merger took place on May 28 and is surrounded by controversy. Both sides claimed victory, and Central Pacific hinted its next move could be in court as it continues its to pursue CB Bancshares, parent of City Bank.

Vote-counting firm IVS Associates Inc. began the process of certifying the vote yesterday at its headquarters in Newark, Del. Representatives from CB Bancshares and Central Pacific observed the count.

"IVS and our people and their people are reviewing each vote," said Wayne Miyao, a spokesman for CB Bancshares.

"We don't see any significant change from the numbers already reported," added City Bank attorney Fred White.

The final vote results likely will determine the next step in Central Pacific's quest to take over its local competitor. Central Pacific has charged that the May vote on the $275 million offer did not meet a quorum, and therefore does not count.

CB Bancshares said the preliminary results showed it achieved quorum, with 50.3 percent of eligible shares being voted.

Central Pacific, however, has challenged CB Bancshares' definition of a quorum. The would-be buyer called for a boycott of the vote, in an attempt to deny a quorum and show that a majority of shareholders support its position.

CB Bancshares said the preliminary vote showed most voting shareholders were opposed to moving forward with the merger. But out of the total number of shareholders only 29.4 percent voted in favor of CB Bancshares. The rest either abstained (2.6 percent), voted in favor of Central Pacific (13.4 percent) or refrained from voting.

Central Pacific has said it may challenge the vote in court. It was pushing for a later vote date and said the May 28 vote didn't give CB Bancshares shareholders enough time to consider the merits of the $70-per-share takeover offer.