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Published: Saturday, 5/1/2010

Cedar Fair seeks talks with Texas investors


SANDUSKY - Cedar Fair LP has told its largest shareholder, a pair of Texas investment funds known as Q Investments, that it wants to discuss how the two can work together on future matters, including choosing candidates for the company's board of directors.

But yesterday the amusement park chain filed its proxy statement for its June 7 annual meeting - and recommended that shareholders re-elect two board members that Q Investments would like replaced.

In a letter sent Thursday to Q Investments, Cedar Fair chairman and CEO Dick Kinzel said he welcomes the funds' "input and perspective on future board candidates and look[s] forward to engaging you in the nominating process."

But the proxy statement advocates shareholders should vote for Richard Ferriera and C. Thomas Harvie so they can remain on the board. Mr. Kinzel also is up for re-election, but reportedly he is not a target for replacement.

Q Investments, which holds 18.1 percent of Cedar Fair's stock, told the company on Wednesday that it wants "new blood" on the board and has hired executive search firm Spencer Stuart, of Chicago, to find suitable candidates.

But by filing its proxy statement with federal regulators, Cedar Fair may have cut off the ability for new board candidates to be nominated.

Although based in Ohio, Cedar Fair is a limited partnership incorporated in Delaware. Under Delaware law, it faces strict deadlines as to when annual meetings must be held and when proxy statements must be submitted.

Q Investments indicated this week that it believes it still has time to nominate board candidates, and that if its nominees are not accepted, it could wage a proxy fight.

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