Barington Capital Group Congratulates Chairman and CEO of Lancaster Colony Corporation

Mar 02, 2009, 15:06 ET from Barington Capital Group, L.P.

NEW YORK, March 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Barington Capital Group, L.P. sent a letter today to John ("Jay") Gerlach, Jr., the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lancaster Colony Corporation (Nasdaq: LANC). In the letter, Barington congratulated Mr. Gerlach for the performance of the Company in an extremely challenging economic environment.

A copy of the Barington letter is attached to this press release.

About Barington Capital Group:

Barington Capital Group, L.P. is an investment firm that, through its affiliates, primarily invests in undervalued, small and mid-capitalization companies. Barington and its principals are experienced value-added investors who have taken active roles in assisting companies in creating or improving shareholder value.

                            Barington Capital Group, L.P.
                                 888 Seventh Avenue
                              New York, New York 10019

    March 2, 2009

    John B. Gerlach, Jr.
    Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive
     Officer and President
    Lancaster Colony Corporation
    37 West Broad Street
    Columbus, Ohio 43215

Dear Jay:

I would like to commend you on the initiatives Lancaster Colony Corporation has pursued under your leadership over the past 16 months.

When we wrote to you last in September 2007, we were disappointed by the Company's share price performance and decreasing profitability, as we were convinced that the Company had the potential to deliver considerably stronger returns to shareholders. We were therefore pleased that you agreed to implement a number of the measures we recommended to improve shareholder value, including:

  • the formation of a task force to improve the Company's operations, productivity and profitability;
  • the divestiture of the Company's non-core automotive and consumer and floral glass operations;
  • the repurchase of over 2.3 million shares of the Company's common stock during the Company's fiscal year ended June 30, 2008; and
  • the appointment to the Company's Board of Directors of a new independent director with experience in the food industry.

It is our belief that these measures have not only helped improve margins in the Company's core Specialty Foods segment but have also enhanced the Company's overall share price performance.

In our September 2007 letter to you, we cited the Company's disappointing share price performance over the previous nine years. During this time period, the Company had significantly underperformed the market, including the Russell 2000 and S&P Midcap 400 Indices. Since then, however, the initiatives your Company has implemented have begun to bear fruit, as Lancaster has substantially outperformed the marketplace as whole and generated positive share price appreciation in an extremely challenging economic environment.

                                       Share Price            Share Price
                                     Performance Over      Performance since
                                    Previous Nine Year       our Sept 2007
                                          Period             Correspondence
                                   (11/16/98 - 9/14/07)   (9/17/07 - 2/27/09)
                                  --------------------   -------------------
    Lancaster Colony Corporation           26.5%                  8.3%
    Russell 2000 Index                    100.7%                (49.9%)
    Standard & Poor's Midcap 400
     Index                                148.7%                (47.5%)

We are also pleased that the Company has begun to take action to improve its record in the area of corporate governance. While we believe that there is more work that needs to be done in this area, we applaud the decision of the Board to appoint a lead independent director and undertake a review to consider additional changes to improve the Company's corporate governance.

Congratulations on these accomplishments.


/s/ James A. Mitarotonda

James A. Mitarotonda

SOURCE Barington Capital Group, L.P.