The stock price of Bed Bath & Beyond (NASDAQ: BBBY) soared significantly after an activist group of investors said they want to replace the company’s entire Board of Directors.
BBBY shares traded as much as $18.09 per share, up by more than 22 percent on Tuesday.
In a statement, Legion Partners Holdings, Macellum Advisors and Ancora Advisors (activist group) said it is necessary to change the Board of Bed Bath & Beyond because of the magnitude of value destruction.
Activist group says Bed Bath & Beyond Board lacks retail expertise
The activist group noted that more than $8 billion in market value was destroyed under the leadership of the company’s CEO Steven Tamares during his 15-year tenure.
Since early 2015, BBBY shares lost more than 80 percent of its value, according to the activist group.
Additionally, the activist group stressed that the Board of Bed Bath & Beyond lacks retail expertise. The Board’s failure to execute the company’s strategy and adapt its business model to a changing retail environment resulted in stagnant sales and declining EBITDA margins.
Furthermore, the activist group said Beth Bath & Beyond’s Board has a “self-enriching mindset as evidenced by its excessive pay packages and failure to hold itself and management accountable.”
Chris Kiper, the Co-founder and Managing partner at Legion Partners, said, “The time is now to instill best-in-class corporate governance and hold management and directors accountable for the horrendous performance that has resulted in $8 billion of value destruction over the over the last 15 years at Bed Bath & Beyond.”
The activist group nominated independent candidates, whom they consider as highly-qualified for election to the Board of Bed Bath & Beyond.
Activist investors chose to attack instead of providing constructive input
In response to the activist group’s move, Bed Bath & Beyond said the Board “welcomes constructive input focused on enhancing value.” The company also stated that the company Board members and senior management team “held several discussions with Legion and Macellum.”
In addition, the company said, “In these conversations, we made clear our commitment to engaging constructively and acting in the best interest of all Bed Bath & Beyond shareholders. We asked on several occasions for their suggestions and ideas for improving the Company’s business but they did not provide any.”
Beth Bath & Beyond went on to say that the Legion and Macellum “chose to publicly attack the company” and “to take over the full Board.
“Unfortunately, while our directors and management were seeking to engage in good faith, it appears that the Legion and Macellum representatives were merely seeking information to support their attack,” it said.