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Report: Feud heats up at PulteGroup as founder retains law firm

PulteGroupInc. founder Bill Pulte has engaged two lawyers from a shareholderactivism-focused law firm, Bloomberg News reported April 13, citing one of thepartners, Aneliya Crawford.

Pulte retained Crawford and Steve Wolosky, who are partnerswith Olshan Frome Wolosky LLP as well as members of that firm's Activist &Equity Investment Practice, Crawford told the news outlet.

Bloomberg News noted that the move suggests that Pulte, whois also the homebuilder's largest stockholder, is not backing down from hiscampaign againstPulteGroup's outgoing CEO Richard Dugas, who has the board's backing.

Blaming Dugas for PulteGroup's "weaker" stockperformance compared to some of its homebuilding peers, "overly aggressive"land acquisitions and the exit of "talented" executives, Pulte hadcalled on the CEO to hastenhis plans to retireat the company's scheduled May 2017 annual meeting.

Pulte recentlysaid in an open letter to the company's board that his supporting Dugas'appointment in 2003 was "perhaps the biggest mistake of my career,"as reported earlier.

Pulte's grandson refused to comment on the hiring of the lawfirm, but he reportedly said that his family was considering "otheroptions" after missing the proxy-fight deadline ahead of the shareholdermeeting in May.

In an April 12 filing, PulteGroup said James Grosfeld, whohad sided with Pulte in his campaign, has resigned from the company's board, effective the samedate.