Shareholder Activist Update: Barington Capital & Millennium Management
|April 9th, 2010||
|Contributed by: Hedge Fund Solutions LLC|
|Last week, James Mitarotonda’s Barington Capital Group sent a letter to the Chairman and CEO of Ameron International Corporation (NYSE: AMN) stating that that Ameron has unused potential that is being ignored due to its leading market positions, attractive end markets, valuable joint ventures and a healthy, asset-rich balance sheet. |
According to Hedge Fund Solutions’ Catalyst Research Report, Barington Capital advised Ameron to rationalize and focus its portfolio of businesses, further control costs, reduce executive compensation to match peers, consider other uses for large cash balances, and improve corporate communications. Barington also suggested that Ameron enhance corporate governance by board declassification, using majority vote, and appointing an independent chairman. Barington currently holds 341,000 shares of Ameron or 3.7% of shares outstanding.
In other shareholder activist news, Barington Capital and Izzy Englander’s Millennium Management announced a 5.3% “active” ownership position with Gerber Scientific, Inc. (NYSE: GRB) last week. The investors also revealed that individuals from Barington Capital met with managers and board members from Gerber last August to discuss improving Gerber’s business operations, strategy, and financial performance. Afterwards, Gerber nominated an individual from Barington for the board election at the 2009 annual meeting.
Barington suggests that in order to increase shareholder value, Gerber should continue reducing expenses, strategically reviewing operating businesses, divesting less profitable businesses, and using proceeds to reduce debt and increase returns to shareholders. Barington and Millennium together hold 1,333,194 shares of Gerber or 5.26% of shares outstanding.
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