Paul Morina is a local legend in Paulsboro, N.J. He’s coached the high school wrestling team for 36 years, winning an astonishing 93.7% of the time. He’s also the high school principal. And to top it all off, he’s president of what is probably Paulsboro’s most famous institution, and certainly it’s most numerically valuable, the $2 billion Hometown Deli on Mantua Avenue, just a few blocks away from the high school.

Well, anyway, Morina was CEO of the unlikeliest $2 billion company on earth.

The shareholders of the mystery $100 million New Jersey deli company Hometown International fired CEO Paul Morina — a high school principal and renowned wrestling coach — after weeks of questions about the firm and his role there, a financial filing revealed late Friday.

Hometown International’s majority shareholders also voted to remove the company’s only other executive, vice president and secretary Christine Lindenmuth, who works with Morina as an administrator at nearby Paulsboro High School.

Paulsboro’s a small place, with just a hair over 6,000 people, and that deli is the sole operating asset of Hometown International, an admittedly strange name for a company with a single deli in this country, although in fairness that deli is just across the river from Philadelphia International Airport and has a remarkably global investor base for a company slinging sandwiches in South Jersey. Risky move, you’d think, to alienate your entire customer base by canning the—forgive the pun—hometown hero at its nominal helm.

But, of course, as old friend Matt Levine has pointed out, Hometown International isn’t actually a deli holding company but a SPAC in disguise.

The moves at Hometown International and E-Waste appear — like other recent ones by each of the money-losing companies — to be an attempt to eliminate controversial issues that could harm their joint goal of merging with other firms in a transaction that would exploit their status as publicly traded companies on U.S. markets. Such a transaction would financially benefit existing shareholders…. Morina was replaced as chief executive officer by Peter Coker Jr., who is Hometown International’s chairman.

Yup, no possible controversies there.

$100 million New Jersey deli fires wrestling coach CEO Paul Morina, related firm E-Waste gets new present [CNBC]

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