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Former TSR suitor offers $5.1 million for founder's shares 

Hauppauge headquarters of TSR, a computer staffing company.

Hauppauge headquarters of TSR, a computer staffing company. The company's management has been having a long-running battle with its shareholders, who hold about 49 percent of the stock. Credit: Steve Pfost

A former suitor for Long Island staffing company TSR Inc. has made a below-market bid to buy the founder's 41.8 percent of common stock, according to a government filing Tuesday. The offer is worth $5.1 million.

Manhattan investment company Zeff Capital LP and two partners sent a letter dated July 16 to James Hughes, a son and representative of retired founder and former chief executive Joseph F. Hughes and his wife, Winifred M. Hughes.

The letter from Zeff Capital offered to acquire the couple's 819,000 shares of TSR common stock for $6.25 per share. The stock closed up 2.1 percent to $7.30 Tuesday.

"This proposal represents a premium of approximately 36 percent over the closing price on June 22, 2018, the last trading day prior to your offer to sell the shares," said the letter from Zeff Capital, which currently owns about 4 percent of TSR's stock.

In a separate letter to TSR, James Hughes said the offer "is currently being evaluated."

In May 2017, Hauppauge-based TSR rebuffed a takeover bid from Zeff Capital worth $6.15 per share.

On June 26, the company disclosed a letter from Joseph and Winifred Hughes urging the board of directors and another son, Christopher Hughes, TSR's current chairman and CEO, to sell the company.

That letter said that based on the closing price the previous Friday of $4.60 per share, the company's "stock is trading at a price that does not accurately reflect its true value."

Christopher Hughes became chairman and CEO when Joseph F. Hughes retired on July 5, 2017. 

Attempts to reach Joseph Hughes for comment were unsuccessful. 

The June letter from Joseph and Winifred Hughes, both 86, prompted the board of TSR to create a committee to consider strategic options, including a merger, a securities sale, an asset sale, recapitalization or the sale or exchange of shares held by the founder.

Zeff Capital made the latest bid with partners QAR Industries Inc., based in Mineral Wells, Texas, and Fintech Consulting LLC, based in Iselin, New Jersey.

TSR provides computer staffing services to the utility, insurance, publishing, pharmaceutical and financial services industries.

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