Judge rules Santa Barbara Independent publisher sell shares to Editor-in-Chief

A judge ordered Monday that Randy Campbell, publisher of The Santa Barbara Independent and its majority shareholder must sell his shares for more than $1.3 million to Marianne Partridge, editor-in-chief and minority shareholder.

Partridge sued Campbell in February 2010, trying to force a sale of his shares after she said he “reneged on a deal” proposed in 2009 that would have sold the paper to Southland Publishing for $2.7 million.

Despite her objection, as one of the three minority shareholders, Campbell “gave a notice of intention to the others that he planned to sell all of his shares, as well as a notice to the shareholders of their first refusal rights.”

Judge Denise de Bellefeuille said the case was a matter of Campbell making an offer that “was not withdrawn before Ms. Partridge accepted.”

Both Partridge and Campbell, who co-founded the paper 25 years ago, will return to court Aug. 25 to sort out the specifics of the transaction, including the date by which it should be made.

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