A major investor has sent a letter to Skechers urging management to make changes to drive higher value across the footwear company.
Tremblant Capital, which owns 5.1% of the brand, wrote a letter to the board on Wednesday, which asked Skechers to eliminate management’s voting majority, buy back more stock, and improve relations with investors by paying a dividend, hosting an investor day, and hiring someone to lead investor relations. Tremblant maintained that day-to-day operations in the company should not change.
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Skechers shares were up 5% in the wake of the news on Wednesday morning.
In a statement to FN, Skechers said it had received the letter and is in “the process of reviewing and discussing it internally and with the Skechers board.”
In Q3, Skechers reported sales of $1.55 billion, marking a year-over-year increase of 19.2% and a sales record for the third quarter. The company reported particularly strong growth in China, where sales grew 10% year over year and 36% compared to Q3 of 2019. According to a Bloomberg report, the footwear company is considering launching a Hong Kong IPO, which could raise nearly $1.5 billion.
“Skechers has grown revenue faster than Nike, Adidas, Puma, Under Armour, Crocs and any other relevant peer,” read the letter, which was included in a regulatory filing. “Despite these impressive facts, Skechers continues to trade at less than half of the earnings multiples of these peers.”
Tremblant praised the Greenberg Family, which runs Skechers and owns about $1.1 billion of stock. However, the investor pointed to multiple concerns related to investor relations and a lack of dividends and buyback programs that could limit value in the long run. According to Tremblant, adopting the outlined suggestions could create a value of more than $4 billion over the next 10 years for the Greenberg family alone.
In a note, Wedbush analysts said that most of the suggestions, such as initiating a buyback program, “make sense.” However, the biggest change would be for the company to eliminate the family’s super-voting share class.
“This has long been viewed as a “family business” internally, and the super-voting shares provide a way for management to maintain that culture without risk of outside interference,” Wedbush analysts wrote. “But overall, we view this as a fairly reasonable set of proposals.”