Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

Proxy Contests

Proxy Contests
9 Months Ended
Aug. 31, 2012
Proxy Contests [Abstract]  
Proxy Contests

Note 6 – Proxy Contests

In August 2007, Mr. David Portnoy (the plaintiff) brought an action against the Company and its directors in Delaware Chancery Court in New Castle County. The plaintiff alleged breaches of fiduciary duties in connection with the Company’s 2007 Annual Meeting and requested declaratory and injunctive relief relating to the election of directors at that meeting. On January 22, 2008, the Court issued an order under which the Company was required to hold a special meeting of stockholders for the election of directors on March 4, 2008; and the order provided that directors who sat on the Company’s Board of Directors prior to the 2007 Annual Meeting would continue in office until the special meeting. The order provided that the members of the management slate pay their own proxy solicitation costs in connection with the special meeting; any costs to the Company of holding the special meeting; and the costs of a special master to preside over the special meeting. On March 4, 2008, the Company held a Special Meeting of Stockholders, at which the directors nominated in management’s proxy statement dated February 11, 2008 were elected by the Company’s stockholders.


On May 9, 2011, the Company was notified that Mr. David Portnoy nominated five directors to the Company’s board of directors to compete with the Company’s board of directors at the 2011 Annual Meeting. Mr. Portnoy conducted his own solicitation of the Company’s stockholders in favor of his nominees. In light of the activities associated with the 2007 annual meeting, on June 6, 2011, Mr. Portnoy brought another action seeking declaratory relief in the Delaware Chancery Court before the same judge that had ruled on the 2007 action.

On August 24, 2011, the Board of Directors of the Company approved funding a Grantor trust to escrow the amounts that may become payable to certain members of senior management (“the Participants”) under their respective Employment Agreements as a result of a Change in Control (as that term is defined in the respective employment agreements as a majority change in the Company’s Board of Directors). The trustee of the Grantor Trust Agreement is Wells Fargo Bank, National Association (“Trustee”). On August 25, 2011, the Company transferred $2,500,000 to the Trust which is reflected as restricted cash in the accompanying consolidated balance sheet as of August 31, 2012 and November 30, 2011. The Trust became irrevocable upon the Change in Control on August 25, 2011. The Company has no power to direct the Trustee to return the funds to the Company. The funds will be returned to the Company when the Trustee is satisfied that the obligations have been satisfied per any agreed upon terms. If the Company becomes insolvent, the Trustee will cease payments of benefits to the Participants and the cash will revert to the Company. Upon written approval of all Participants, the Company may terminate the Trust. During the nine months ended August 31, 2012, $59,232 in legal fees were paid from the Trust on behalf of one of the Participants. As of August 31, 2012 the balance in the Trust is $2,444,400 which is reflected in the accompanying consolidated balance sheets as of August 31, 2012. As of August 31, 2012, one of the three Participants continues to be employed by the Company.

On August 24, 2011, the Board of Directors of the Company approved the acceleration of any unvested stock options and the extension of the exercise period of such options for options held by the Board of Directors and the Participants in the event of a Change in Control. On November 23, 2011, the Board of Directors of the Company revoked the previous resolution.

The Company held its 2011 Annual Meeting of Stockholders on August 25, 2011 (“the Annual Meeting”). The final voting results were certified by the Inspector of Elections on August 30, 2011. Mr. Portnoy’s nominees were elected to the Company’s Board of Directors triggering a complete change in the Company’s Board of Directors.

On August 30, 2011, the newly elected Board of Directors of the Company terminated its Chief Executive Officer and former Chairman of the Board of Directors, Mercedes Walton, for cause. In accordance with Ms. Walton’s employment agreement dated August 15, 2005, as amended July 16, 2007, Ms. Walton could be entitled to severance in the amount up to $950,000 related to lost salary, bonuses and benefits. In addition, the Company could be required to pay all reasonable legal fees and expenses incurred by Ms. Walton as a result of the termination, as well as outplacement services. The Company has recorded an accrual of approximately $950,000 associated with the agreement which is reflected as an accrued expense in the accompanying consolidated balance sheets as of August 31, 2012 and November 30, 2011. The Company believes that Ms. Walton was terminated for cause and therefore, the Company believes that Ms. Walton has not earned the right to this severance and intends to defend itself against the agreement.

On August 31, 2011 the Company’s Board of Director’s approved the reimbursement by the Company to the Portnoy Group of its costs associated with the litigation resulting from the 2007 Annual Meeting and the 2011 Annual Meeting’s proxy contest. The total costs reimbursed during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011 were approximately $528,000.


On May 30, 2012, the Company received a Nomination Solicitation Notice nominating six individuals to the Company’s board of directors to compete with the Company’s board of directors at the 2012 Annual Meeting. Pursuant to the Co-CEOs employment agreements, upon receipt by the Company of this Nomination Solicitation Notice, as defined in the Company’s Bylaws, all of the service-based vesting condition options that were issued to the Co-CEOs vested. Due to the immediate vesting of the options issued to the Co-CEOs, approximately $700,000 was recorded as stock option compensation expense during the second quarter of fiscal 2012 and is reflected in selling, general and administrative expenses in the accompanying consolidated statements of operations for the nine months ended August 31, 2012.