The Pioneer Group of Boston has issued a letter to its corporate shareholders to update them on the firm's efforts to sell the company. The April 18 letter, signed by 73-year-old Pioneer president John F. Cogan, Jr., alerts shareholders that the Pioneer "board is very encouraged by the expressions of interest received to date," and attacks Lens Investment Management of Portland, Maine, a beneficial owner of 4.1 percent of Pioneer's stock.

Earlier this year, Lens called for Pioneer to be sold to the highest bidder at auction and began waging a proxy contest to replace the current board's incumbent nominees with a slate of five new board nominees with ties to Lens. Lens estimates that Pioneer, which has suffered significant losses in all but its U.S. investment management unit, could command as much as $42 per share in a sale of the firm. On April 18, the company's shares were trading at under $24 per share.

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