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Cedar Fair shareholder demands board members quit

Wire • Mar 31, 2011 at 7:01 PM

Cedar Fair LP's largest shareholder has called for the resignation of several board members after arbitrators ruled the amusement park chain wrongly terminated its chief operating officer last year.

A private arbitration panel ruled 2-to-1 last month that Jacob "Jack" Falfas, the former chief operating officer, was "terminated for reasons other than cause" when he left the company suddenly in June. The decision called for Cedar Fair to reinstate Mr. Falfas to his job, pay back salary and other benefits from the time he was terminated, and reimburse Mr. Falfas for attorney's fees and other costs.

Q Investments, a pair of Texas hedge funds that hold an 18.1 percent stake in Cedar Fair, said Cedar Fair misled shareholders when it said Mr. Falfas resigned from his position in June. In a letter to the company yesterday, Q Investments demanded that seven out of 10 Cedar Fair board members, including President and Chief Executive Richard Kinzel, step down in connection with the arbitration ruling.

"This is an embarrassment for the company and each of you individually," Q Investments said.

In a statement Thursday, Cedar Fair said it stands behind its assertion that Mr. Falfas resigned from the company. The company plans to challenge the arbitration ruling in court.

Mr. Falfas was believed by some to be the next successor to Mr. Kinzel, who is expected to retire in 2012. Cedar Fair gave no explanation at the time for the sudden departure of Mr. Falfas, who had worked for the company for three decades.

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By Sheena Harrison - The Blade, Toledo (MCT)

Copyright (c) 2011, The Blade, Toledo, Ohio

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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