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Saga Chairman Lynch Quits as Merger Nears

Charles A. Lynch, chairman and chief executive of Saga Corp., has resigned after eight years with the food service company, saying Saga’s merger with Marriott Corp. left “no meaningful role” for him.

Marriott said Monday that it had acquired enough stock to take over Saga.

Lynch, 58, said in a telephone interview from Saga headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., that he will leave the company Monday and that he has talked to a number of companies but hasn’t made any decision on what he will do. “I’m wide open to discussions,” he said.

Marriott Executive Vice President Francis W. Cash will assume control of Saga when Lynch leaves.

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Lynch said he “precipitated” the change because it would provide for “a better transition, and you can’t have two people making decisions.”

Besides, he said, it was time for him to do something else.

He earned more than $600,000 last year, according to proxy statments. His employment contract states that he may resign and receive a full year’s salary if there is a “substantial and material change in control of the company.”

Washington-based Marriott has acquired 97% of Saga’s stock for $486.5 million. Marriott’s offer for Saga’s stock was to have expired last Friday, but Marriott said it had extended the offer until Thursday so that it can get the remaining 3% of Saga’s stock.

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