In a filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, Alden Global Capital revealed that it has purchased 7.9 million shares of Pier 1 Imports stock, taking a 9.5% stake in the company, and expressed a desire to become involved in directing the retailer’s business.
In the filing, citing the reason for its move, Alden Capital noted that, on September 7, Pier 1 announced that the retailer’s president and CEO Alex Smith would step down from his executive position and board seat, and that the company is searching for a new CEO, as it “announced disappointing preliminary second quarter financial results.”
The filing went on to say that Alden representatives had, “engaged, and intend to continue to engage, in communications with management and the board” on matters that include Pier 1’s “recent operational performance, shareholder representation on the board and the CEO search process.”
Alden added that it believes Pier 1 “is at a critical juncture” and wants to establish a constructive dialogue with the retailer’s management regarding operational performance, management and oversight, and share value.
Pier 1 issued a statement in response to the Alden filing, which maintained, “Pier 1 Imports values constructive input from investors and regularly engages in dialogue with its shareholders regarding strategy and performance. Pier 1 Imports will continue to engage with shareholders, including Alden Global Capital, and evaluate opportunities to increase long-term shareholder value. Pier 1 Imports’ board of directors and management team are committed to acting in the best interests of all Pier 1 Imports shareholders. The company has made significant progress executing its omnichannel strategy, and is well positioned to leverage the strength of this platform and the Pier 1 Imports brand to accelerate growth and improve profitability while delivering value to shareholders.”