JACKSON, Wyo., Jan. 15, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The trustees of Mesabi Trust (MSB) have asked unitholders to vote in favor of their nominee, Ms. Robin M. Radke, to fill a vacancy and to approve a substantial increase in compensation for the trustees. These actions, in our opinion, are not aligned with the interests of the unitholders. As the largest shareholder of Mesabi Trust, Beddow Capital Management strongly opposes the election of their nominee, Ms. Radke, and urges unitholders to oppose the election of Ms. Radke by marking their proxy cards "WITHHOLD" on that proposal. At a Special Meeting held December 20, 2018, Ms. Radke failed to receive a majority of votes needed for appointment. The meeting was adjourned to January 23, 2019 at which time votes will again be tallied.
Based on our review of the biographical information provided us by the trustees, we do not believe the election of Ms. Radke would be in the best interest of the unitholders. A replacement trustee should possess relevant experience which will benefit Mesabi Trust in renegotiating agreements with the operator of Northshore Mining as that operation shifts to the production of Direct Reduction grade pellets that will feed Cleveland Cliffs' new Hot Briquetted Iron plant in Toledo, Ohio. Beddow Capital has communicated its opposition on several occasions to the trustees and explained our reasons for opposing their nominee. These include, but are not limited to:
- Mesabi Trust needs a seasoned executive with extensive knowledge of the mining and natural resource industries, preferably with C-Suite experience.
- Ms. Radke would bring no direct industry experience. Rather she is an attorney who is employed by an investment firm. She had previously worked for the same law firm which represents Mesabi Trust.
- The trustees already have access to qualified, outside legal counsel through Fox Rothschild LLP to which they have paid more than $1.2 million in fees over three years. Appointing a trustee whose main qualification is a background in law would bring no added value to the Trust.
- Ms. Radke is reported to own 87 shares of Mesabi Trust. In our view this de minimus investment strongly suggests her interests are not aligned with the owners of Mesabi Trust.
According to Article XII of the trust governing document, the election of a trustee is essentially a lifetime appointment since the Trust does not hold annual meetings. Beddow Capital, a registered investment advisor, has owned Mesabi Trust for more than 25 years. We urge unitholders to OPPOSE the appointment of Ms. Radke.
Edward G. Beddow
Beddow Capital Management, Inc.
SOURCE Beddow Capital Management