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Retired founder of TSR Inc., his wife sell 41 percent stake to investors

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

The retired founder and former chief executive of TSR Inc. and his wife have agreed to sell a 41.8 percent stake in the staffing company worth $5.1 million to Zeff Capital LP and two partners, the company disclosed in a government filing Wednesday.

The deal, worth $6.25 per share, comes a year after the computer staffing company rebuffed Zeff Capital's bid to acquire the company for $6.15 per share.

The sale of 819,491 shares came amid efforts by the company, headed by chief executive Christopher Hughes, to seek alternatives after his parents, Joseph and Winfred Hughes, both 86, sent a letter to the board of directors in June calling for TSR to be sold.

Shares of TSR fell 5.2 percent to close Wednesday at $6.45 That was higher than the price at which the Hugheses sold, but lower than the $7.80 closing price June 26 after the couple's proposal to sell the company was made public.

That previous letter, faxed to the company on behalf of the Hugheses by another son, James Hughes, said the stock price of $4.60 per share on June 22 "does not accurately reflect its true value."

After receiving the letter, TSR's board of directors formed 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 Joseph and Winifred Hughes.

Manhattan-based Zeff Capital, which had 4 percent of shares before the latest transaction, acquired the Hugheses' stake along with partners QAR Industries Inc., based in Mineral Wells, Texas, and Fintech Consulting LLC, based in Iselin, New Jersey.

Hauppauge-based TSR turned down the previous takeover bid by Zeff Capital in May 2017. 

A call Wednesday to Daniel Zeff, president of Zeff Capital, was not returned.

Christopher Hughes said he could not comment on the impact of the Zeff Capital transaction, given TSR's position as a public company.

TSR provides computer staffing services to the utility, insurance, publishing, pharmaceutical and financial services industries. As of May 31, 2017, the company employed 428 people, according to its annual report.


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