US: Clinton Group hits back at Wet Seal
The Clinton Group has lashed back at claims by US teen retailer The Wet Seal that it has been supported by two proxy advisers to keep its board.
The Clinton Group said that Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) recommended that the Wet Seal's investor elect Lynda Davey and Mindy Meads in place of incumbent directors Sidney Horn and Henry Winterstern.
The Clinton Group said that it was "disappointed" that The Wet Seal sought to "mis-characterise ISS' recommendation".
Clinton Group managing director Gregory Taxin said: "ISS quite rightly has advised its clients that change is needed on the Wet Seal Board and that stockholders should vote on our white consent solicitation card."
The Wet Seal's Board responded by sending a letter to shareholders accusing Clinton Group of "short term activism rather than the long term interests of all shareholders".
It added that its proposed board nominees do not appear to have any "specific strategy for the Wet Seal business, nor do they appear to have any direct teen, fast fashion experience".
The letter went on to criticise Clinton Group's previous investment track record and point out the shortcomings of the group's slate of board nominees.
"We believe the current board is a stronger group than what Clinton Group has proposed and is better suited to lead the company as it returns to a fast fashion strategy. We ask that you not endorse and empower shareholders like Clinton Group who are only short-term oriented and self-serving. Your board is productive, focused and unburdened in executing any and all shareholder initiatives that will create value. Clinton Group, on the other hand, has a long history of short-term value extraction tactics and quick exits, leaving long-term shareholders in a worse position as a result," said the Wet Seal board in the letter.
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The following is a general roundup of US apparel and shoe retailers' December 2012 sales results....
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US teen apparel retailer The Wet Seal has announced the resignation of Barbara Cook, its senior vice president of store operations, after less than two years in the post....
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