Bed Bath & Beyond’s claims that activist investors didn’t try to talk out their problems with the company’s board are patently false, the investor group said Thursday.
The group said it was prepared to discuss the settlement proposal on Monday, April 22, but wasn’t given the opportunity.
“Before the investor group could respond to the proposal, the company rushed to release its new director appointments within 24 hours of signing the non-disclosure agreement. The company likely understood its proposal was not compelling,” the investor group said in a statement. “Further, since the company just entered into a non-disclosure agreement with the investor group, it was fully aware the agreement stipulated the investor group was not allowed to disclose the agreement’s existence for several days.”
The company also refuses to agree to a universal proxy card, has not yet set a date for the 2019 annual meeting of shareholders, and is not taking necessary action to avoid triggering potential adverse financial consequences, according to the investor group.
The changes Bed Bath & Beyond made to its board on April 22 falls significantly short of needed change, according to the investor group. This change of control was given to new directors without a plan, they said.
“Shareholders should not allow a transfer of control to new directors selected by the legacy directors who have overseen over $8 billion of value destruction over the past 15 years,” the group said.
The investor group also highlighted what they called a lack of “requisite skills necessary” on the newly appointed board, which does not include a current or former retail CEO.
Bed Bath & Beyond did not return a request for comment by press time.