Activist investor Clinton Group is agitating again, this time singling out home shopping site ValueVision as its current target.
The investment group is calling for a special meeting within 90 days to ask fellow shareholders to remove the majority of ValueVision’s board and expand the board to nine directors. Gregory P. Taxin, president of Clinton Group, said, “For too long, ValueVision has suffered from a lack of vision and strategy that has stunted its growth and caused it to severely underperform its peers. We have repeatedly asked the current directors to make changes in executive leadership and strategy and they have refused. We are therefore seeking shareholder support to elect new directors, who will install a senior management team that will harness the power of ValueVision’s tremendous assets in the rapidly converging world of media, e-commerce and entertainment to create significant value for shareholders.”
Clinton Group’s slate of nominees include former Charming Shoppes chairman Dorrit M. Bern, former HSN chief executive officer and former QVC senior vice president Mark C. Bozek, as well as former chairman and ceo of Sony Music Entertainment Thomas D. Mottola.
Clinton Group last month sought the removal of ValueVision ceo Keith Stewart. ValueVision responded by stating it will take the time necessary to “thoroughly evaluate the Clinton letter.” ValueVision operates the ShopNBC network that is now being re-branded to ShopHQ. It sells apparel, jewelry, accessories and beauty items.
A source with knowledge of Clinton Group’s plan said it is working with another activist group, Cannell Capital, and that the objective is to “remake the business so it is far more relevant for the customer.…It reaches a lot of people via television and digitally, and there is a way to do things differently and make the television shopping model far more exciting and engaging.”
Clinton Group has successfully shaken up the boards at The Wet Seal and Dillard’s.