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Proxy battle starts for Dillard’s board  

New York – An affiliate of hedge fund Barington Capital Group will nominate four people for seats on the 12-member board of directors of $7.2 billion department store chain Dillard’s.

The candidates will be:

* James Mitarotonda, 53, chairman, president and ceo of Barington, and a director of A. Schulman, Inc.; The Pep Boys; and Griffon Corporation.

* Charles Elson, 48, the Edgar S. Woolard, Jr. Professor of Corporate Governance and the director of the John L. Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance at the University of Delaware, and a director of AutoZone and HealthSouth Corporation.

* Nick White, 63, a 27-year veteran executive of Wal-Mart Stores and a director of The Pep Boys.

* Eric Salus, 54, a former senior exec at Federated Department Stores, where he was president of Macy’s Home Store; and a director of Ashworth, Inc. and Oneida Ltd.

Barington leads an investor team that owns 5.3% of outstanding shares of Dillard’s and has pressed for changes in strategy at the 328-store retailer since last August.

Barington said that if elected, its nominees “intend to work constructively with the other members of the Dillard’s board (who are elected by members of the Dillard family by virtue of their control of the company’s Class B common stock) to seek to improve the company’s operations, profitability, corporate governance and share price performance.”

Barington pointed out that “Dillard’s stock price has fallen by approximately 54% from June 30, 2007 through the close of trading on March 18, 2008, erasing more than $1.6 billion in shareholder value.”

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