TORONTO – Those charged with counting ballots Wednesday at the annual meeting of Western Intl. Communications Ltd. apparently botched the job, greatly overstating the level of shareholder dissatisfaction with the big broadcasting company.

R-M Trust Co. admitted Thursday that it discovered the error when it reviewed the ballots on a recount and issued an apology to the company, its directors and shareholders.

At the meeting, a trustee of R-M Trust said 56.7% of WIC’s nonvoting Class B shareholders had voted in favor of a proposal to break up the company put forward by the New York brokerage firm Oppenheimer & Co. Inc., while 42.4% were opposed. (A dissolution motion is the only matter that gives Class B shareholders a vote.)

The trust company said the correct figures are 54% against dissolution and 45% in favor.

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