RiceBran Urges Investors to Back Execs Amid Battle with Dissident Shareholder

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14 Jun 2016 --- RiceBran Technologies has written to investors urging them to re-elect its directors, as it looks to kill off a boardroom squabble with dissident shareholder LF-RB Group.

Investor LF-RB Group, which owns around nine percent of the Arizona-based processor and distributor of rice bran, is looking to take control of RiceBran by putting forward five of its own candidates for election to replace existing RiceBran directors, including a new chief executive.
 
The Annual General Meeting (AGM) is expected to take place on June 22 in Arizona.
 
In the letter to shareholders, RiceBran chairman Robert C. Schweitzer and    W. John Short, chief executive  said: "You should be aware that, if successful in its bid to take control of your Company, LF-RB Group plans to replace your current CEO, who has more than 25 years of C-suite experience managing multi-national businesses in Asia, Europe and the U.S., with a 36-year-old individual who has NO experience managing a public company and NO C-suite experience."
 
"The composition of your Board is something we take very seriously, and we believe the incumbent directors’ experience, expertise and alignment with shareholders are critical for RiceBran’s continued transformation into a high margin growth vehicle within the natural, organic and functional foods market.”
 
“In examining their credentials, your Board unanimously agrees the majority of LF-RB Group’s director nominees are unqualified to serve on the RiceBran Board."
 
"Put simply, the dissident’s candidates do not meet RiceBran’s rigorous criteria of required industry, functional responsibility and business experience."
 
In the letter, Short and Schweitzer also highlighted its commitment to corporate governance, which LF-RB Group had questioned.
 
They added: "Best-in-class corporate governance is a top priority at RiceBran, and your Board is proud of its ongoing efforts to ensure its interests are closely aligned with shareholders.
 
“For LF-RB Group to suggest otherwise reflects either a wilful mischaracterization or a fundamental lack of institutional knowledge of your Company.”

“Regardless of the reason behind this inaccurate depiction, the truth remains that RiceBran’s Board is dedicated to enacting shareholder-friendly corporate governance practices.”

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