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9 Jul 2008

Activist Hedge Fund Told To Cease and Desist

A preliminary injunction has ordered two officers of activist hedge fund Costa Brava Partnership III LP of Boston to cease and desist, refraining from all contact with former, current and future auditors of Telos Corporation.

Costa Brava officers, Andrew R. Siegel and Seth W. Hamot, who sit on Telos' board of directors, were accused of making repeated threats of litigation against the company's last two independent auditors. Both auditors resigned their engagements with Telos as a result of the conduct of Hamot and Siegel even though neither auditor had found fault with Telos on any accounting issues.

The actions were seen by Telos as tactics to break up the company on order to secure redemption of their public preferred stock.

In his order, Judge Matricciani also wrote that "Telos is likely to demonstrate that their (Hamot and Siegel) conduct was not just wrongful, but unlawful." The judge stated that the communications of Hamot and Siegel with Reznick may have violated Sarbanes-Oxley section 303 and SEC Rule 13b2-2, "providing another basis for liability for tortious interference with business or economic relations."

Attorneys for Hamot and Siegel have said they will file an appeal of the preliminary injunction with the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland.

Hedge Funds Back MEVIO

Hedge funds Sequoia Capital, Sherpalo Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and DAG Ventures were led by Crosslink Capital in investing $15 million in entertainment network MEVIO.

Adam Curry, co-founder and president of MEVIO. "MEVIO is building a full-scale entertainment network that incorporates all of the positive elements of traditional media along with the benefits of scale and insight offered by the Internet."

"The first wave of online video was a total failure for brand advertisers," said Ron Bloom, co-founder and chief executive officer, MEVIO. "In order to attract the billions of dollars of brand advertising spending that is still dedicated to television programming, online companies will have to provide audience and frequency at a scale to compete with traditional broadcast, and build it around brand-safe content that is relevant and entertaining. MEVIO is building that network."

In May of 2008, the company attracted over 9 million unique monthly visitors, up over 800 percent in the last twelve months. For the second quarter of 2008, MEVIO estimates page-views to exceed 140 million, up over 1,800 percent quarter over quarter. With the launch of its vertical entertainment networks, the company is exploring syndication opportunities that management believes will dramatically enhance MEVIO's already impressive reach.