Still not for sale

Apr. 03, 2013 @ 05:03 PM

The majority of shareholders in North State Communications sent a message Wednesday to those who want to compel a sale of the company – we’re not interested.
At the annual shareholders meeting of the High Point-based company, shareholders rejected a resolution from some dissident members to force the management to consider a sale of the business.
“A shareholder proposal requesting that the board of directors explore a sale of the company was voted down,” said Pat Harman, chairman of the board of North State.
North State didn’t provide specific numbers on how many shareholders voted for or against the resolution on the sale of the company. But “the sale resolution was voted down by a significant margin,” said Royster Tucker III, president and chief operating officer.
The shareholder meeting wasn’t open to the general public.
Shareholders who want North State sold did have an opportunity to make their case during the annual meeting held in High Point. Kent Rowett with California-based Leeward Investments provided The High Point Enterprise with a copy of his remarks at the meeting.
“North State’s net operating income declined by 28 percent over the four-­‐year period from 2006 to 2009. In just the two year
period from 2010 to 2011, the rate of decline was already 20 percent,” according to Rowett’s presentation.
Rowett argues that the rapidly changing and highly competitive nature of the communications business means that North State will face tougher prospects moving forward as a smaller, independent company.
The debate over the sale of North State — which has been a High Point-based, independent business since its founding as a rural phone exchange more than 100 years ago — has swirled for the past three years. 

pjohnson@hpe.com | 888-3528