Activist investors call for shareholder representatives on Pinnacle board

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A group of activist investors controlling 9.5% of Pinnacle Airlines stock are calling for the carrier's board to consider broad management changes as a bankruptcy threat looms, according to a new filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The four investors -- Wayne King, Ryan J. King, Meson Capital Partners LP, and Meson Capital Partners LLC - also have discussed replacing the current board with new members, according to the SEC document filed by Pinnacle.

The group wants Pinnacle to appoint new board members designated by shareholders with full voting rights, the document said.

The shareholder representatives on the board would be tasked with "promptly" forming an equity committee if Pinnacle declares bankruptcy, according to the filing.

King made similar demands last month, but Pinnacle's board did not act on the request. King has since increased his ownership in the airline from 2.78% of common stock to 3.15% and formed a voting block with three other investors.

The four-member group will also discuss their requests with other Pinnacle shareholders, the SEC filing said.

Since 8 December, Pinnacle CEO Sean Menke has been seeking to avoid a bankruptcy filing by restructuring the carrier's terms with a wide variety of stakeholders, including employee groups, partner airlines, banks and suppliers.

However, Menke warned two weeks ago that bankruptcy is still an option if the negotiations fail.