Q Funding files statement alleging "apparent wrongful conduct" of Cedar Fair

Posted Wednesday, February 9, 2011 12:02 PM | Contributed by Jeff

From the filing:

It has come to our recent attention that there may have been a serious violation of the federal securities laws by this company in 2004. As such, we feel it necessary to inform the Board of this apparent wrongful conduct promptly.

After hearing Mr. Kinzel state publicly at the Special Meeting that unitholders do not have the right to nominate directors, we reviewed the original 2004 proxy statement (issued to all unitholders as background information for a vote to completely amend and restate the partnership agreement) and found significant discrepancies.

Read the entire filing on the SEC Web site.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011 12:03 PM

This sounds mostly like a tantrum because they're not getting their way. Do they really think unit holders would respond positively to this?

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011 12:16 PM

How come it is OK for Q to use italics in their filing but on this site people get made fun of if they use italics?

I call for a special meeting for the members of this site to vote about this important topic.

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011 12:58 PM

It's okay to use italics, unless you're using them as a quote feature ;).

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011 1:23 PM

Is it yet another tantrum in what is seemingly becoming a long line of trantrums? Possibly. Does it have legitimacy? Yes, to a degree as messy as it seems.

For all of us who have either been employees and/or unit holders the bottom line is over the past decade (or longer) the power of running Cedar Fair clearly went to the head of Dick Kinzel. He was infallible, he was a star, people wanted his autograph, he was recognized everywhere he went and he is a multi-multi millionaire from the 20+ years in control of Cedar Fair. To his credit he did do some really great things, but that doesn't overshadow his shortcomings which are numerous and have shown brightly once the Paramount Parks purchase took place. Clearly, moves were made on the part of Kinzel and the Board of Directors to solidify power so that no one could challenge their authority. We all know this to be true; Cedar Fair has always operated as an autocratic authority whether it be the corporate office to a department office in a park.

Now, someone with some muscle and the financial power and knowledge has come along to take Kinzel and the Board to task for their actions. In many ways the shake up has been VERY GOOD for unit holders who in two years saw the value of their units grow from a low of $6.50 to about $18 today which is nearly a 300% return on value; don't forget Kinzel pushed VERY HARD to convince everyone to sell out at $11 with the Apollo arrangement that ONLY benefited Kinzel and his inner circle and left everyone else with scraps. (So much for fulfilling the "integrity" cornerstone of Cedar Fair's operating policy.)

The bottom line at this point, in my view, is the small investors and residents of Sandusky (and Ohio frankly) need to send join together and send a clear message to Q Funding; Cedar Fair is an Ohio based company with deep roots and historical significants to the local, state and region and that it will REMAIN as such. Q can do what they feel is right from the perspective of getting new leadership in place to put the company on solid footing to grow for decades to come but beyond that it should be hands off! Hedge funds are notorious for going in to unstable companies to make changes, suck every dollar out possible and then running out, potentially leaving Cedar Fair in the same financial disastor Six Flags and other companies found themselves in during the 2000's when it was "cool" to play games with finances. Cedar Fair generates a billion dollars a year in revenue and that is what Q wants to get their hands on, plain and simple. This won't be the last statement against Cedar Fair from Q, my question is when will Q start answering the hard questions we want to know from them and who is willing to confront them on exactly what their intentions are with this investment???

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011 2:02 PM

Their intention is to make money!!! :-)

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011 2:29 PM

Hey Q... If you're happy with your investment, hold on to it and shut up. If you're not happy with it, sell it and shut up. Either way, SHUT UP!

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011 2:49 PM

I don't think they (Q) necessarily should shut up but I wish they were more organized and strategic in their actions. It does make them look foolish and while the shareholders have largely supported their efforts thus far I think the working class of Ohio who are the small shareholders are going to grow tired of this act.

As for "Integrity"...well...I was around when Dick rolled out that little nugget and there were a LOT of us who were scratching our heads on that one. If the definition of Integrity includes appointing your family into positions of authority then it is a definition I'm not familiar with.

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011 3:51 PM

Yeah, I don't agree with the whole shut up thing. If Dan Snyder had shut up, well, then, what would have happened to Six Flags?

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011 4:29 PM

There's nothing wrong with shareholder dissent. I think it's a good thing. It's long overdue for Cedar Fair. The problem with Q is that they're not very good at it.

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011 4:36 PM

wahoo, that is "family integrity," lol

The more I think about this the more I come to realize that Dick Kinzel really has an opportunity to come out of this with an improved perception from all of us who have grown so negative towards him. But, and this is a BIG but, at his age can he really change his personal habits and ways of thinking? Doubtful. His one weapon right now would be to hire a publicist to really work with him and change the message coming out of his office....putting people first, going above and beyond for each and every employee as he expects of them to do for park guests, allowing the empowerment of employees to make decision right on the spot to solve guest issues, ending the micro-management, embracing technology and the advice he gets about how it can drive revenue....hell even just be a FUN guy to be around for crying out loud!!! Wishful thinking, I know.

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011 4:55 PM

Old Dog <> New Tricks

It is more complicated than this but he has simply stayed too long. There are few examples in any area of life where staying on longer turned out to be the right choice. Atheletes, politicians, business leaders, marriages....

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011 5:11 PM

wahoo skipper said:
Old Dog <> New Tricks

It is more complicated than this but he has simply stayed too long. There are few examples in any area of life where staying on longer turned out to be the right choice. Atheletes, politicians, business leaders, marriages....

Don't forget that one night stand pickup from the bar....

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011 6:32 PM

NEWS SCOOP!

Cedar Fair is reported to be working to refinance, or adjust the terms of, debt due in 2016. The official news of the deal is due February 11th.

The company is believed to be able to save over $11 million annual from interest and finance charges. This will free more cash for enhanced dividend payments. In addition it is believed excessively restrictive limits on dividend/distributions will be relaxed.

Unitholders may thank the retail and institutional shareholders who have worked so tirelessly to reform the business dealings of the company.
Yet again, Unitholders have demanded these changes and management has been forced to follow. The bonus for these savings belong to Unitholders not management.

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011 6:50 PM

BOLD and italics for the win!

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011 8:10 PM

Assuming that's real, is the overuse of bold/italics supposed to make us forget about the plagiarism?

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011 10:20 PM

Leland's day job is to complain about Cedar Fair all over the Internet. Seriously, Google him.

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011 10:26 PM

I googled him once. I stopped looking at like 10 pages of stuff on Cedar Fair. Seriously, if you start to type his name in on Google, it autocompletes.

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Thursday, February 10, 2011 6:01 AM

Tekwardo said:
BOLD and italics for the win!

I love the blatant overuse of formatting. It's like a giant "skip this post" sign.

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Thursday, February 10, 2011 10:41 AM

"Bitter" - Table of one now seating... "Bitter"...

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