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Activist investor nominates 10 candidates for Deckers board

By   /   Thursday, September 14th, 2017  /   Comments Off on Activist investor nominates 10 candidates for Deckers board

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Activist investor Marcato Capital Management nominated 10 candidates for the board of directors for Goleta-based Deckers Brands.

The shoe company confirmed that it had received the nominations in a news release issued Sept. 13. Earlier in the month, Deckers set a Sept. 15 deadline for nominations and pushed back its annual stockholders meeting, usually held in September, to Dec. 14.

The Ugg boot parent said it would review the candidates carefully “as it would any other potential directors to assess their ability to add value on the board for the benefit of all stockholders.”

“Deckers welcomes open communications with its stockholders and values constructive input toward the shared goal of enhancing stockholder value,” the company said in a statement. “Although we engage regularly with our stockholders, it is Deckers’ policy not to comment on discussions with individual stockholders.”

Marcato purchased a 6 percent stake in the company in February and wrote an open letter to Deckers in late June that threatened changes to the board of directors if it did not put itself up for sale. Previously, investor Red Mountain Capital Partners had written to request that it explore a merger or sale due to declines in the company’s stock price.

In April, Deckers said it would consider options for a sale or merger as part of a strategic review process. It brought on financial adviser Moelis & Company LLC and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, PC as legal counsel, and it outlined a $100 million profit improvement plan.

Former CEO Angel Martinez also stepped down as chairman of the board Sept. 5, after Marcato expressed concern that his campaign for mayor of Santa Barbara would interfere with the company’s recovery efforts.

Deckers said in its statement that it had met with Marcato a number of times since it became an investor, and that discussions are ongoing.

“Deckers has a strong and independent board, with three new directors who have joined since 2014,” the statement said. “The board believes that it has an appropriate mix of skills, experience and leadership to drive performance and provide effective oversight. At the same time, the board will give full and fair consideration to the nominees proposed by Marcato.”

• Contact Marissa Nall at [email protected]

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