After facing pressure from activist investors, Avon Products Inc. is nominating one of them for its board.
The business entered into a nomination agreement with Shah Capital Management Inc., NuOrion Advisor LLC and Barington Capital Group LP to nominate James A. Mitarotonda, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Barington, to its board of directors.
Barington, which owns a 3.4 percent stake in Avon, has been pressuring the company to make changes for months. The firm called for Avon to replace former chief executive officer Sheri McCoy back in May, and joined forces with Shah and NuOrion to request Avon hire a financial adviser to explore strategic alternatives, including a sale, in January.
Then, the group sent a letter to Avon’s board saying they were “extremely disappointed” in Avon’s stock price, which has been on the decline, that the board had been slow to hire a new ceo — it has since hired Jan Zijderveld from Unilever — and that shareholders shouldn’t have to continue waiting for a turnaround from a board that had “overseen such tremendous destruction of shareholder value.”
Avon, which unveiled a turnaround plan in early 2016, has considered strategic alternatives before. The business sold the majority of its U.S. business, now called New Avon, to Cerberus Capital Management in 2016, and has considered strategic alternatives for its China segment.