News

March 21, 2014

Okapi Featured in The Wall Street Journal for work with Engaged Capital

Engaged Capital LLC has tapped proxy solicitation firm Okapi Partners LLC and a leading independent global professional services firm, as the activist investor fights for five seats on Abercrombie & Fitch Co.’s (ANF) board.

Though Engaged Capital didn’t name the global professional services firm, it said on Thursday that the firm has decades of experience in the retail and apparel sector, including the turnaround and restructuring of underperforming businesses. Engaged added that the firm is also able to provide temporary leadership and executive search services to Abercrombie, in the event of a management transition.

An Abercrombie spokesman said the company “is taking decisive and significant actions as it moves into the next phase of growth,” adding that Abercrombie “is committed to continuing to strengthen its business and to executing on its strategic priorities to deliver enhanced value to all shareholders.”

Last month, Engaged Capital nominated five candidates to the board of the struggling teen-apparel retailer. Engaged said that weeks of “private outreach” to Abercrombie failed.

Engaged Capital has also pressed for the removal of Abercrombie Chief Executive Michael Jeffries, who took over at the retailer in 1992. Earlier this year, the retailer stripped Mr. Jeffries of his title as chairman and added three new members to its board after sustained investor pressure, but it wasn’t enough for Engaged, which owns a 0.5% stake in the company.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal earlier this month, Abercrombie’s recently appointed chairman Arthur Martinez said he has met with Engaged Capital Chief Investment Officer Glenn Welling and told him that Mr. Jeffries has the support of the board.

Abercrombie shares edged up four cents to $39.44 in recent trading. The stock has risen 20% so far this year.

Engaged Capital Taps Advisers in Abercrombie Board Fight [Wall Street Journal]