ballantyneBallantyne Strong, the publicly traded digital display and lighting systems provider, is working with Financial Profiles for PR support as it faces a surprise proxy challenge from a Charlotte investment firm.

Financial Profiles is a Los Angeles-based IR and PR firm led by Abernathy MacGregor vet Moira Conlon. Senior VP Tony Rossi, formerly of the Financial Relations Board, is advising Ballantyne.

The Omaha-based company said it is "surprised and disappointed" by the proxy challenge by Fundamental Global Investors, holder of 14.7% of Ballantyne's shares.

Ballantyne said it invited FGI's CEO, Kyle Cerminara, to join its board earlier this year – he accepted – and engaged in talks with the investment firm. But Ballantyne called the proxy contest an "unnecessary and costly measure that has the potential to disrupt" the company's operations momentum at a critical time.

FGI, working with proxy firm Alliance Advisors, has nominated a slate of seven directors to a bid to improve Ballantyne's financial performance and acquisition strategy.

Ballantyne posted 2014 revenues of $95.1M, down from $103.6M in 2013. Gross profit was $18.2M.