That was quick.
Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) has reached a settlement with GameStop executive chairman Ryan Cohen. The deal will see three board members immediately added to Bed Bath & Beyond: Marjorie L. Bowen, Shelly C. Lombard, and Ben Rosenzweig.
Bowen and Rosenzweig will join a four-member committee focused on exploring alternatives to unlock value from the company's buybuy BABY banner.
Bed Bath shares rose 8% in pre-market trading.
"Our company and Board have always been committed to evaluating all options to maximize long-term shareholder value, and we look forward to integrating our new directors' ideas to drive our continued transformation. Our buybuy BABY business is a tremendous asset, and we are committed to unlocking its full value. As we move forward, our goals will continue to focus on delivering value for our shareholders, enhancing experiences for our customers, executing on the transformation throughout our business, and creating new and exciting opportunities for our dedicated employees across all our banners," Bed Bath CEO Mark Tritton said.
Chewy billionaire Cohen disclosed a 9.8% stake in Bed Bath & Beyond earlier in March.
Cohen said in a scathing letter to Bed Bath & Beyond that the company's execution under CEO Mark Tritton has bordered on terrible, compensation is not realistic and the business should be split up (Buy Buy Baby business sold off) and then sold entirely to financial sponsors (aka private equity).
Cohen believed Bed Bath & Beyond could unlock billions in shareholder value by narrowing its focus and selling itself in parts.
"The resolution announced today represents a positive outcome for all of Bed Bath's shareholders. By refreshing the Board with shareholder-designated individuals who possess capital markets acumen and transaction experience, the Company is well-positioned to review alternatives for buybuy BABY. I appreciate that management and the Board were willing to promptly embrace our ideas and look forward to supporting them in the year ahead," said in a statement today.
Bed Bath & Beyond's once promising turnaround has hit a brick wall as the company has confronted pandemic-driven supply chain challenges and issues executing on a sweeping plan to remake the store shopping experience. A decision several months to pullback on coupons was not well-received by consumers.
And all of this has shown up in Bed Bath's financials and communication to Wall Street. Sales for the just completed three-month period plunged 28% year-over-year. Adjusted operating profits fell $80 million from a year ago. When the company reported its results in early January, it outlined current quarter adjusted earnings of $0 to $0.15. The Street at the time was looking for $0.70.
The stock has plunged 47% from a 52-week high on June 2 (before Monday's reaction to Cohen's involvement).