Macellum Capital Management is now eyeing Christopher & Banks Corp., and the activist is pushing for a sale of the company.
The activist firm, which owns a 5.1 percent stake in the company, sent a letter to the retailer’s board Thursday indicating its intent to vote against each board member seeking reelection at the upcoming annual shareholders’ meeting. The meeting is scheduled for June 26.
Macellum said it was rebuffed when it asked the board to add “highly qualified directors to the board, including former chief executive officer Joel Waller,” according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission today.
The board’s rejection of Macellum’s request led to the activist firm’s conclusion that the Christopher & Banks board “has failed to exercise appropriate oversight and has not served as a good sounding board for ceo LuAnn Via,” the regulatory filing stated. The filing also noted issues Macellum raised earlier this year are “negatively impacting the business,” and that the retailer “can no longer blame the West Coast port strike for its declining results.”
Macellum also stated in the letter to the retailer’s board that Christopher & Banks “would be an attractive target and should formally begin a process to explore a strategic alternative” given the trend toward consolidation in the women’s specialty sector, such as the planned acquisition by Ascena Retail Group of Ann Inc.
Macellum’s letter, which was included as an exhibit in the SEC filing, indicated that it first reached out to Christopher & Banks in March regarding its request to “fortify the board.” Since then it has had discussions with management and the retailer’s chairman.
“Unfortunately, given the board’s decision to reject our proposal, the only tool we possess as a means to effect change at the upcoming annual meeting is withholding our votes for the existing board,” the letter said.
A spokeswoman for Christopher & Banks could not be immediately reached for comment.
Macellum’s most recent agitation was The Children’s Place. Its dispute with the board of The Children’s Place was settled last month.