NEW YORK, Jan. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- A group of stockholders lead by Barington Capital Group, L.P. and Esopus Creek Advisors LLC that owns over 9.7% of the outstanding shares of Syms Corp (NYSE: SYM) announced today that it has sent a letter to the Board of Directors of the Company. In the letter, the group asks the Board to reconsider its recent decision to deregister the Company's common stock under the federal securities laws and delist from the New York Stock Exchange, as the group believes that such actions will destroy shareholder value for the Company's public stockholders. As the Company may not deregister if it has 300 or more stockholders of record, the stockholder group also recommends in the letter that its fellow stockholders contact the banks or brokerage firms that hold their shares and have such shares registered in their own names. The group believes that there are over 1,000 stockholders of Syms Corp, most of whom currently have their shares registered in "street name" rather than in their own name. A copy of the letter is attached to this press release. About Barington Capital Group: Barington Capital Group, L.P. is an investment firm that, through its affiliates, primarily invests in undervalued, small and mid-capitalization companies. Barington and its principals are experienced value-added investors who have taken active roles in assisting companies in creating or improving shareholder value. Barington and its affiliates have been stockholders of Syms Corp since February 2004 and own approximately 6.1% of the outstanding common stock of the Company. About Esopus Creek Advisors: Esopus Creek Advisors LLC is the investment advisor of Esopus Creek Value L.P., a private investment fund that invests on behalf of institutions and high net worth individuals. Esopus seeks to achieve superior returns using a hybrid value approach. Esopus and/or its affiliates have been stockholders of Syms Corp since 2003 and own approximately 3.5% of the outstanding common stock of the Company.
* * * * * Barington Capital Group, L.P. Esopus Creek Advisors LLC 888 Seventh Avenue 500 Fifth Avenue New York, New York 10019 New York, New York 10110 January 2, 2008 The Board of Directors Syms Corp Syms Way Secaucus, New Jersey 07094 To the Board of Directors of Syms Corp: We are representatives of a group of stockholders that owns over 9.7% of the outstanding shares of Syms Corp. As long-term investors in the Company, we are extremely displeased with the Company's recent decision to deregister its common stock under the federal securities laws and delist from the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), as it is clear to us that such actions will destroy shareholder value for the Company's public stockholders. This is evident from the impact the announcement has had on the Company's stock price: since the Company disclosed the contemplated delisting and deregistration in its Form 8-K filing on December 21, 2007, Syms' common stock has fallen by over 11%, destroying more than $27 million in market capitalization. The reasons for this precipitous decline are straightforward. First, deregistration will suspend the Company's obligation to make routine public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). This will significantly harm stockholders as they will no longer be assured access to detailed financial and other information concerning their investment on a continuing basis (other than members of the Syms family who would have access to such information as members of the Company's management team). We take little comfort from the Company's assertion that it "intends" to make information available to the market (including audited financial statements) that is "generally equivalent" to that previously made in its filings with the SEC. If this is truly the case, then what is the need, or the benefit to stockholders, for deregistering? Second, the delisting of the Company's common stock from a major exchange will negatively impact its liquidity, regardless of whether the shares will be available for trading on the pink sheets. In our view, the costs to the Company's stockholders of these destructive actions will not even begin to be offset by the estimated $750,000 in annual savings. While we are generally supportive of efforts to reduce expenses, we are surprised that the Board would consider cutting costs in areas that are so damaging to the public stockholders that it has a fiduciary duty to protect. As an alternative, we recommend that the Board consider listing the Company's common stock on the Nasdaq Stock Market, which is generally less costly than the NYSE, as well as explore ways to reduce operating expenses and monetize the Company's valuable real estate holdings. While the Company may currently have less than 300 stockholders of record, it is our understanding that there are more than 1,000 beneficial stockholders, most of them choosing to hold their shares in "street name" through a bank or brokerage firm. Following our receipt of the Company's December 21, 2007 Form 8-K filing, we have begun the process of registering some of our shareholdings in our names, and encourage other stockholders to do the same as the Company may not deregister if it has 300 or more stockholders of record. Despite the minor inconvenience to us and our fellow stockholders of having to register all or a portion of our shares, we believe it is worth the effort if it prevents the Company from taking actions that would be harmful to our mutual interests as investors in a publicly traded company. In light of the disproportionately negative impact the delisting and deregistration of the Company's common stock would have on its public stockholders, we strongly urge the Board to reconsider its decision. We would appreciate the opportunity to discuss our concerns in more detail with the Company's independent directors as soon as possible. Please let us know when they are available to meet with us.
Sincerely, James A. Mitarotonda Andrew L. Sole Chairman and CEO Managing Member Barington Capital Group, L.P. Esopus Creek Advisors LLC
SOURCE Barington Capital Group, L.P.