R.D. Hubbard, amid a proxy battle for control of Hollywood Park, was told by a federal judge Tuesday that he must purchase a newspaper advertisement apologizing for a previous ad that misled stockholders.
U.S. District Judge Stephen V. Wilson also ruled that proxies that were voted for Hubbard between last Wednesday and today must be voided.
The time frame used by the judge covers the period between publication of the first ad and publication of the corrected ad.
In a statement, Hubbard estimated that the proxies affected by the judge’s order would be “less than 2/100ths of 1%" of the shares in the company. Based on almost four million shares, the number of disqualified shares then would be fewer than 800.
Hubbard, who is trying to oust Marje Everett, Hollywood Park’s chief executive officer, plans to carry the proxy fight to the annual shareholders’ meeting on Feb. 18. The majority of the shares voted by then will determine whether Everett or Hubbard takes control of the track.
In a half-page ad in The Times last Wednesday, Hubbard announced victory, saying that he had received more than 50% of the shares voted in a consent solicitation. When the consents were counted last Friday--and certified on Monday--Hubbard, despite totaling more than 49%, had fallen almost 25,000 consents short. Shareholders with about 48.5% of the track’s stock did not participate in the solicitation, which drew a response of slightly more than 2 million shares.
Another half-page ad by Hubbard appears in today’s editions of The Times. In the ad, Hubbard says his first ad was “improper” and “premature,” language used by Wilson to characterize Hubbard’s first ad. Hubbard said he followed the judge’s wording in composing today’s ad.
In a statement Tuesday, Hubbard said: "(The judge’s) ruling does not impact my ongoing proxy fight, nor does it dampen my resolve to move forward with that fight to replace the current management of the Hollywood Park Operating Co.”