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Investment firm asks Deckers Brands to explore sale

By   /   Monday, April 3rd, 2017  /   Comments Off on Investment firm asks Deckers Brands to explore sale

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An investment firm that owns a 3.3 percent stake in Deckers Brands wants the Goleta-based shoe company to explore options for seeking a sale or merger.

In a letter dated March 27, Santa Monica-based Red Mountain Capital Partners said it was concerned about the “persistent underperformance” of Deckers’ stock.

Red Mountain managing partners Willem Mesdag and Chris Teets offered a five-point plan to increase profitability for the Goleta-based maker of Ugg boots, in correspondence dating back to December. The two management teams met Feb. 14, but Deckers’ response did not ultimately incorporate the full plan.

“As we communicated in our February meeting, while we view management’s plan to be partially responsive to our letter, it is fraught with execution risk in a challenging retail environment,” Mesdag wrote, adding later that the board should weigh the benefits of sale against the value of its plan to shareholders.

With a market capitalization of $1.86 billion for Deckers, Red Mountain’s share would be valued at more than $61 million. Shares have fallen around 20 percent in the two years since Red Mountain invested in the company.

In its most recent earnings report Feb. 2, Deckers reported a drop in net income from $145.97 million during the first nine months of its previous fiscal year, to $21.41 million for the same period this year. Earnings per share fell from $4.47 per share to 67 cents per share, respectively, and the company revised its outlook downward to expect earnings per share in the range of $3.45-$3.55 for the full fiscal year.

Deckers could not be reached immediately for comment, but a spokesperson told Reuters: “We appreciate the views of all of our stockholders and we value constructive input toward the shared goal of enhancing stockholder value.”

• Contact Marissa Nall at [email protected]

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