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Friendly's Co-Founder S. Prestley Blake to Discuss Harvard Case Study with Students February 25

Posted January 5, 2009

blake0142.gifS. Prestley Blake H'80, co-founder of the Friendly Ice Cream Corporation and long-time supporter of Western New England College, will visit the College Wednesday, February 25 for a discussion of the Harvard Business School case study focusing on his shareholder action against Friendly Ice Cream. The event will take place between noon and 1:00 p.m. at the School of Law on the College's main campus, and is free and open to the public. Blake's appearance is sponsored by the Western New England College Law and Business Center for Advancing Entrepreneurship.

Students from the School of Business and the School of Law will participate in a question and answer session with Blake. Professors at Harvard Business School turned Blake's legal fight with the company he co-founded into a case study of shareholder activism and corporate governance. The case study details Blake's suit against Friendly's and former CEO Donald N. Smith, hedge fund manager Sardar Biglari's proxy fight with the company, and the eventual sale of the company in 2007 to the privately held Sun Capital Partners.

Blake and his brother Curtis founded Friendly's in Springfield in 1935. The brothers sold the company in 1979 for $164 million.


Western New England University is a private, independent, coeducational institution founded in 1919. Located on an attractive 215-acre suburban campus in Springfield, Massachusetts, Western New England University serves 3,955 students, including 2,575 full-time undergraduate students. Undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs are offered through Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, Engineering, and Pharmacy, and School of Law.


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