Advisor backs Burkle nominees in Barnes & Noble proxy fight
New York City Proxy-advisory firm Institutional Shareholders Services (ISS) said it has recommended that Barnes & Noble shareholders select board directors nominated by billionaire investor Ronald Burkle as part of his proxy fight against the retailer, according to a Monday report by the Wall Street Journal.
Among the nominees recommended by ISS include Burkle himself, as well as Stephen Bollenbach, chairman of KB Homes and former CEO of Hilton Hotels Corp., and Michael McQuary, CEO of Wheego Electric Cars and former president of Earthlink.
Burkle and company are battling Barnes & Noble founder and largest shareholder Leonard Riggio, who is also up for re-election on the board and wasn’t recommended by ISS.
Investors will vote on Sept. 28.
“Based on [Barnes & Noble’s] deteriorating operating performance, poor shareholder return, less-than-enthusiastic analyst recommendations, inadequate transparency … we believe the dissidents have demonstrated a compelling case that change in the BKS board is warranted,” ISS is quoted as saying in theWSJ report.
The recommendation by ISS is a blow to Barnes & Noble’s efforts to stave off Burkle. With votes dividing between Burkle or Riggio camps, the deciding vote is expected to come from institutional shareholders and index funds. That means the recommendation by ISS, the largest and most influential proxy advisory firm that has institutional investors as its client, could play a key role in determining the outcome of the Barnes & Noble proxy fight, according to WSJ.
Barnes & Noble’s nominee slate consists of, besides Riggio, David Golden, a partner in Revolution LLC, an investment company, and David Wilson, CEO of the Graduate Management Admission Council, a non-profit education group.
As part of his battle, Burkle is petitioning shareholders to amend the company’s “poison pill” antitakeover provision, which has prevented him from upping his ownership stake. ISS recommended that the threshold to trigger the poison pill be raised from 20% to 30%.
Anthropologie set to debut accessories concept
New York City Anthropologie will premier its accessories-only format on Oct. 29, in Chevy Chase, Md., according to Women’s Wear Daily.
The 1,4000-sq.-ft. store will feature shoes, handbags, scarves, costume and fine jewelry, and in a first for the brand, estate and antique jewelry, the report said.
Dick’s Sporting Goods names new board member
PITTSBURGH Dick’s Sporting Goods announced that Jacqualyn Fouse has been elected to the company’s board of directors.
Effective September 27, Fouse will be joining Celgene Corporation, a global biopharmaceutical company, to serve as its CFO. Since July 2007, she has served as the CFO of Bunge Limited, a global agribusiness and food company.
“We are pleased to welcome Jackie to our board,” said Edward Stack, chairman and CEO. “She is well seasoned in the world of finance with nearly 30 years of experience. Her combined insight and expertise will be an excellent contribution to and further enhancement of the Dick’s Sporting Goods board.”