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Activist investor urges Alaska Communications to explore sale

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Activist investor urges Alaska Communications to explore sale

22NW, a shareholder of Alaska Communications Systems Group Inc., or ALSK, is proposing that the latter's board explore a process to sell the company due to underperforming stock.

"I have been greatly disappointed in the compensation this management team has accumulated over the past three and a half years despite negative total shareholder returns," 22NW President Aron English said in an Oct. 4 letter addressed to the ALSK board.

English said that the board should hire "an independent, nationally recognized investment bank to evaluate strategic alternatives in order to maximize shareholder value."

The 22NW president said that if the board initiated a process to sell ALSK, the company would have at least several suitors.

English felt that ALSK is "substantially undervalued" and that the company's stock is a non-indexed, sub-$5 equity with limited daily trading volume that presently unable to pay a dividend, which prevents institutional investors from buying the stock.

He also encouraged other stockholders to push the board into taking action.