Unitholders vote could force Kinzel out as chairman

Cedar Fair's unitholders have voted overwhelmingly to appoint a new chairman of the board with no previous ties to the company, current chairman Dick Kinzel announced at today's special meeting of Cedar Fair unitholders.
Tom Jackson
Jan 12, 2011

Cedar Fair's unitholders have voted overwhelmingly to appoint a new chairman of the board with no previous ties to the company, current chairman Dick Kinzel announced at today's special meeting of Cedar Fair unitholders.

A second proposal, to make paying cash dividends a higher priority than paying off debt, is too close to call, and the result will not be known until all the votes are in and counted. That will be in a few days, he said.

Kinzel will stay on as CEO until the end of year and will remain as chairman until the board takes action.

For more on this story, read Wednesday's Sandusky Register.

Comments

ivenoen

Please, vote "no" on dividends, being the priority. I know it sounds like a good thing, but if they can't pay off debt, they can't pay out dividends. It's a lose, lose situation.

Just Thinkin

BYE BYE CP Hello higher taxes and less money for bussiness, It's the beginning of the end LOL

Leland Wykoff

Management got it wrong. 

Again. 

Kinzel and the Board of Directors were so confident in their plans and vision of the company.  If only those pesky owners of the company would leave them alone. 

Why then they could extend golden-parachute plans to more relatives, grant stock options while keeping the unit price depressed via twentyfive cent dividends (then watch the value of the options take off when decent dividends were restored), and installling the Kinzel Kids to run the company.

Once again Management has failed to grasp the direction the owners of the company demanded to go.

While we do not have the final results on the dividend/payout, the fact the vote was so close as to be difficult to call sends a strong message to the Board--increase the dividend.

This day ushers in new fresh leadership while ushering out stale old ideas.

Unitholders rejoyce.  Today the healing begins.

Mr Kilbourne

Q owns a substanial amount of shares, which they need to make a return on, or get rid of. 

Kinzel does not like Q, Q doesn't like that he won't listen to them.

Kinzel = Q not being able to squeeze more money out in the short term.

So natutally, Q wants Kinzel out.

Honestly, just like any big corporate entity, they (Q) need to make money for owners/investors/etc. They probably dont care about keeping Cedar Fair around for ever, they want to squeeze as much money out as quickly as possible. Bam, Cedar Fair moves money to paying shareholders dividends, in a few years can't pay debt back, then Q can organize selling the profitable pieces to another company for pennies on the dollar, and dumping the rest. Q doesn't care where CF is located or who is affected locally (keeping in mind Cedar Fair's full portfolio, not just the Sandusky park).

Factitious

Strong Chairmen/CEO's are wont to treat their public companies like personal property. They tend to get away with it as long as results are good.

This reminds me of the tale of the once highly successful Figgie International, whose founder Harry Figgie Jr. got in over his head with a recession, a bad capital modernization plan and some bad acquisitions. The last straw was when, as the company bled, he installed his incompetent son as his successor.

The main difference here is that Kinzel knows a lot about the business he's in. Investors are well advised to ask themselves what any successor knows about this business.

The shares would be happiest if Kinzel ran operations, and a board substantially less compliant to same decided what to do about capital structure and payouts.

Leland Wykoff

Today Unitholders fixed the staying on and hanging around problem Mr. Kinzel seems to suffer.

Retirement was scheduled years ago.  Then he stayed on.  Recently Mr. Kinzel made a generous offer to unitholders to stick around and serve as the Chairman of the Board following his retirement.

Thanks, but no thanks, Mr. Kinzel.

Cedar Fair has, quite frankly, grown beyond your skills to manage it.  The vision for Cedar Fair must be more than amusement and water parks with a few hotels tossed in, almost as an after thought.    To grow and prosper CF must have a wider vision and mission.   This is a vision the company has failed to embrace. 

Unitholders must now assist with the transition of the Board of Directors and top management to assure Cedar Fair moves quickly to a bright future.  A future which will build upon our past, but will not be hindered by our past.

Thanks to all fellow Unitholders who voted with such conviction.   

 

 

Leland Wykoff

Check out this interview:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/0...

 

lifetimeresident

In a perfect world our dividend would rise while the debt is paid off and the company shows a nice profit.  What worries me is the 20 plus million it will cost to have the loan changed to allow this.  That and the price of gas going up to 4 dollars a gallon.

Slacker

Wrong Mr. Wycoff, this is a very sad day for Cedar Fair share holders and those that live in the Sandusky area.  Have you ever been to Sandusky Mr. Wycoff?  Ever been to Cedar Point?  Obviously not, and that is why you so brazenly disregard those who look at Cedar Point and Cedar Fair as far more than an asset in a portfolio.  The comments you have posted are a slap in the face to those that live in our area and want Sandusky to remain the hub of the amusement park world.  All you care about is money and "return on investment".  Our investment is the love of a company that has been wonderful to our area and a true asset in our community.  When we speak of Cedar Point in our area, stories of childhood happiness and family time well spent are repeated over and over.  When you speak of Cedar Point, you speak of it as a statistic.  Please, for the sake of a great Ohio town, get your money out of Cedar Fair and take your Q Investment cronies with you.  You will not be missed. 

lifetimeresident

To Slacker

Just remember if it was not for Q Funding this company would have already been sold for a nice price of $ 11.50/ share.  I do agree with you about getting out though.  Who knows what this outcome will bring.

And to LE

Thanks, alot of shareholders are glad you have spoken your mind.

Keep Faith

Tool Shed

So in reality, the share holders basically said "enough is enough of this old man" and fired him, so to speak!  It must suck to be disliked by so many people.  "Overwhelmingly", was the term used in the paper. 

lonepalmoh

SLACKER posted in part the following~

Have you ever been to Sandusky Mr. Wycoff?  Ever been to Cedar Point?  Obviously not......

Mr. Wykoff has been in Sandusky. He attended the State Theatre meeting ( that wasn't.)  He was not one of the shareholders who spoke at yesterday's meeting although I am almost certain I saw him there.. I am curious as to why he did not speak. if indeed he was there? 

BillTorrell

Slacker,

I'm sorry to tell you, but Cedar Fair doen't only have a responibility to Sandusky, but to all their shareholders worldwide.   I wish Cedar Fair was as good a "corporate citizen" as you paint them out to be.  Perhaps they have done wonders for Sandusky, but to look at the closed businesses that surround Geauga Lake in Aurora (just about 20 minutes from my home), I'm sure those business owners and citizens may have a completely opposite opinion.

I personally thank Mr. Wykoff and Q Funding for attempting get the story out and "righting" the Cedar Fair ship.  I don't think any of us want it to go down, just get it back on the right track.

Bill

Taxpayer

The BUSINESS of Cedar Fair affects everyone directly and indirectly.  In my sphere of influence, it affects business.  CP is the LAST successful big business Erie County has left.  The very LAST!!  And it operates four months out of the year full time.  Don't like that?  Take a drive in the parking lot of the old GM facility on Perkins Ave.  And how many times has the name changed at the old Ford plant?  ALL those taxes (come on crybabies LIST them ALL) CP pays so the city and county will NOT default is the ONLY reason we are still going.  Without CP, everyone will be FORCED to pay higher taxes in order to keep the UNION wage public service and government working.  Or, people will elect to move OUT like THOUSANDS in Ohio everyday.  Without your fire department, ALL home and business insurance will skyrocket.  You BETTER pray Cedar Fair continues to be successful.  They PAY their invoices.  Freeloading liberals do NOT.  Do any of you really believe Richard Kinzel, over 70 years-of-age, is worried about his finances?  Come on!  He has been eligible for FULL Social Security benefits.  What are YOU getting?  The ONLY thing he is worried about is not being in charge or command of something.  Sitting at home in retirement doing absolutely NOTHING and not being a corporate leading manager making multi-million dollar decisions would kill him.   

TaxpayJerK

I know somehow this is the LIBERALS' fault. I'll let you KNOW when I FIGURE OUT WHY.

Oh, yeh, and, Oops! Forgot to say, "Ha! Ha!"

Slacker

Lonepal,

So we don't know if he has been to Cedar Point or not........correct?

Also, BillTorrell, I didn't say Cedar Fair was anything to anywhere except Sandusky!  You made my point for me!  They need to leave Cedar Fair alone to insure that Sandusky survives and doesn't turn out to be just another dead Ohio town like Aurora. 

I don't care how you spin it, it is personal if you live in Sandusky.  Interesting that Mr. Wycoff couldn't answer any of my questions for himself, huh?

mrbeno

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