Ryan Cohen, a billionaire investor, announced on Sunday that he now owns roughly 10 per cent of Bed Bath & Beyond and wants the housewares store to explore strategic options, including a full sale.
Cohen, who co-founded online pet supplies store Chewy and is chairman of the board of gaming retailer GameStop Corp, blasted Bed Bath & Beyond for an “overly ambitious” approach, compensating senior executives, and failing to recover market share losses.
“We believe Bed Bath needs to narrow its focus to fortify operations and maintain the right inventory mix to meet demand, while simultaneously exploring strategic alternatives that include separating buybuy Baby, Inc and a full sale of the Company,” Cohen wrote to the company’s board of directors.
Cohen stated in the letter seen by Reuters that his investment business, RC Ventures LLC, controls 9.8 per cent of the Union, New Jersey-based corporation. In the previous year, Bed Bath & Beyond’s stock has plummeted 43.55 per cent.
“While we have had no prior contact with RC Ventures, we will carefully review their letter and hope to engage constructively around the ideas they have put forth,” Bed Bath & Beyond said in a statement.
In pre-market trading on Monday, the company’s stock rocketed almost 45 percent to $23.59.
There was no comment on the issue available from Cohen.
The investment was initially revealed by the Wall Street Journal.
Cohen is pressing for reforms after the corporation and three activists secured an agreement in 2019 to add four new directors to the board of directors. The organization chastised the business for failing to react to the rising popularity of internet shopping.
The business appointed Mark Tritton as CEO soon after the settlement, but Cohen claims Tritton has failed to negotiate supply chain turbulence and presided over a 14 per cent reduction in core revenue from a year earlier in the most recent quarter.
Still, Tritton received nearly $27 million in compensation over the last two fiscal years, according to Cohen, significantly more than CEOs at far larger businesses such as Macy’s, Kohl’s, and Dollar Tree.
In the previous fiscal year, the company’s designated executive officers were paid a total of $36 million in pay.
Cohen stressed that he is focused on the long term and would not condemn management for building the groundwork for future value creation, echoing his own approach at GameStop, where he has provided few details about how he expects to resurrect the firm.
Cohen wants Bed Bath & Beyond to simplify its “scattershot approach” and explore splitting the buybuy Baby business or selling the entire company, which he believes would be better held by a private equity firm.
(Adapted from WSJ.com)