The Barington Group has ended its solicitation of proxies to put two director nominees on the board of Chico’s FAS Inc.
The activist investor began its proxy fight on May 24. The investor group said, “While we are convinced that our highly-qualified candidates would have had a significant and immediate positive impact on the board, in deference to the views of ISS and Glass Lewis, the Barington Group has decided to terminate its proxy campaign. It is now up to Ms. Broader to deliver on her promises to stockholders.”
Shelley Broader joined Chico’s in December as chief executive officer. Since she started, Broader has implemented cost-cutting measures, identified four focus areas for growth and recommended corporate governance improvements.
ISS and Glass Lewis are two independent proxy advisory firms that advise investors in proxy battles. Last Friday ISS issued its report in favor of Chico’s slate of nominees and on Wednesday Glass Lewis came out with its recommendations, also in Chico’s favor.
Barington also said, “The company has repeatedly stated that Chico’s has an industry-leading portfolio of brands that provides a strong platform for profitable growth and value creation. We strongly agree and expect Ms. Broader to fulfill her commitment to stockholders to enhance shareholder value.”
Barington said it desires to have a continuing open dialogue with Broader regarding opportunities to improve long-term shareholder value. Barington said it owns 1.6 percent of the outstanding shares of common stock of Chico’s.
James A. Mitarotonda, chairman and ceo of Barington, said that for the past several months his company has worked to ensure positive changes are made at Chico’s. “We are deeply committed to our investment in Chico’s and ensuring that the company maximizes its long-term value potential and is run in the best interests of stockholders. We will be monitoring the company closely,” Mitarotonda added.