NEW YORK, June 14, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The Barington Group, which collectively beneficially owns more than 1.5% of the outstanding shares of common stock of Chico's FAS, Inc. (NYSE: CHS), announced today that it has filed a definitive proxy statement and accompanying BLUE proxy card with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") in connection with its solicitation of proxies to elect its highly qualified nominees to the Chico's Board. The Barington Group also announced that it has mailed a letter to the stockholders of Chico's highlighting its serious concerns with the Company and outlining the Barington Group's comprehensive plan to unlock the Company's long-term value potential. The Barington Group's letter is available on the SEC's website and can be viewed by clicking the following link: http://tinyurl.com/glbt46c.
In the letter, the Barington Group highlights the reasons for its proxy solicitation, which include the Company's extremely disappointing performance and poor executive compensation practices under its current Board of Directors:
- The Company's common stock has significantly underperformed its peers and the market as a whole over the past 1, 3, 5 and 10-year periods. The Company's stock is down over 30% over the past 12 months and has fallen approximately 78% from its all-time high of $48.90 in February 2006, wiping out almost $5 billion in market capitalization.
- Chico's has suffered from declining comparable store sales and disproportionately high SG&A expenses. It has also suffered over a $200 million loss associated with the Company's disastrous acquisition of Boston Proper.
- The Barington Group believes that Chico's has failed to properly align CEO pay with performance, as the Board awarded CEO Shelley Broader a compensation package that is almost twice the size of the median compensation paid to the CEOs of the Company's peers in 2015.
- The Board has nominated Bonnie Brooks, the Vice Chairman of Hudson's Bay Company, which owns and operates two sizable department store chains that directly compete with the Company. If Ms. Brooks is elected at the 2016 Annual Meeting, her service on the Chico's Board would create a conflict of interest, if not a potential violation of antitrust law.
The Barington Group states in the letter that while it recognizes that Chico's has announced that it is implementing some of the suggestions it has made, the Barington Group believes that the measures that have been announced are insufficient and outlines a comprehensive plan to help unlock the Company's long-term value potential.
The Barington Group has launched a website, www.barington.com/chicos.html, dedicated to the election of its two highly qualified shareholder representatives to the Chico's Board at the Company's upcoming 2016 Annual Meeting. The Barington Group's nominees are:
James A. Mitarotonda – Mr. Mitarotonda, 62, is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Barington Capital Group, L.P. Mr. Mitarotonda is an experienced public company director who has served on more than a dozen boards and has helped numerous public companies improve their long-term financial performance, corporate governance and executive compensation practices. He is currently a director of A. Schulman, OMNOVA Solutions, Inc., The Eastern Company and Barington/Hilco Acquisition Corp. He has also served as a director of The Jones Group, Ameron International, Griffon Corporation, Gerber Scientific, Register.com, Inc. and The Pep Boys – Manny, Moe & Jack, among other companies.
Janet E. Grove – Ms. Grove, 65, has over 40 years of retail industry experience, including serving as Vice Chairman of Macy's, Inc., a leading department store chain, and as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Macy's Merchandising Group, where she was responsible for designing, sourcing, marketing and merchandising Macy's private branded products and managing key vendor relationships.
If you have any questions or need assistance in voting the Barington Group's BLUE proxy card, please contact the Barington Group's proxy solicitor, Okapi Partners LLC.
OKAPI PARTNERS LLC
1212 Avenue of the Americas, 24th Floor
New York, NY 10036
Stockholders Call Toll-Free at: (877) 566-1922
About Barington Capital Group, L.P.:
Barington Capital Group, L.P. is a fundamental, value-oriented activist investment firm that was established by James A. Mitarotonda in January 2000. Barington invests in undervalued publicly traded companies that Barington believes can appreciate significantly in value as a result of a change in corporate strategy or improvements in operations, capital allocation or corporate governance. Barington's investment team, advisors and network of industry experts draw upon their extensive strategic, operating and boardroom experience to assist companies in designing and implementing initiatives to improve long-term shareholder value. Barington has substantial experience investing in retail and other consumer-focused companies, with prior investments in Dillard's, The Children's Place, The Jones Group, Warnaco, Nautica, Steve Madden, Payless ShoeSource, Stride Rite, Collective Brands, Maxwell Shoe, Avon Products, Lone Star Steakhouse, Darden Restaurants and Harry Winston, among others.
Jared L. Landaw
Chief Operating Officer
Barington Capital Group, L.P.
Tel: (212) 974-5713
Okapi Partners LLC
Tel: (212) 297-0720
(877) 566-1922 (toll-free)
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SOURCE Barington Capital Group, L.P.