On March 27, investment management firm Blackwells Capital, which represents less than 5 percent interest in Supervalu, revealed names of the six nominees it wishes to place on Supervalu’s nine-member board.
In a press release last week, Supervalu called their move an attempt to “effectively seek control of the company, without paying a premium to all stockholders.”
“We continue to believe substantial value exists in Supervalu’s assets, people and business relationships,” Jason Aintabi managing partner at Blackwells Capital told the media. “But, the time has long passed for incrementalism. To unlock value for shareholders, the company must change fundamentally, and change must begin at the board level. We believe a different, and more cohesive and experienced, group of directors are needed to effectuate real change at Supervalu. We are delighted that so many experienced professionals have offered to assist the company and its long-suffering shareholders,” he said.
“Supervalu’s board has overseen the worst performance in its peer group over the past three, five and 10 years. Only when facing pressure from shareholders has the company displayed any sense of urgency and its actions have been underwhelming to say the least,” Aintabi added.
Balckwells nominees include Richard A. Anicetti, former CEO of The Fresh Market and Food Lion; Robert (Chris) Kreidler who was evp and CFO of C&S Wholesale Grocers and Sysco; Frank Lazaran former CEO, President for Marsh Supermarkets and Winn-Dixie Stores; Sandra E. Taylor, president and CEO of Sustainable Business International; Steven Baer, a partner with High Ridge Partners; J. Martell a former director of Mobile Mini.
Blackwells stated none of the independent nominees offered by them has any connection or relationship to Blackwells itself; if elected, the nominees will exercise their strong business judgment independent of any influence from Blackwells.