Blackwells Capital issues letter on 'continued value destruction' at Supervalu
Blackwells Capital, one of the largest shareholders of Supervalu with an approximate 5.2% ownership interest, issued the following open letter to the company's Board of Directors. The letter read, in part: "We believe there is significant value in Supervalu's assets, people and business relationships. But, after years of continuous value destruction, as a result of what in our view has been a misguided and haphazard strategy overseen by this Board, we are compelled to drive change that unlocks value for the benefit of all of Supervalu's shareholders. Our repeated, good-faith attempts over the past eight months to engage management and this Board about specific ways to reverse the Company's precipitous decline in value have been consistently and systematically rejected, and this continues today. The Company has reacted to our suggestions with what believe are ineffective half measures. With the share price still trading near six-year lows after the recent fourth quarter earnings, it is more evident than ever that the markets have lost all confidence in Supervalu's current strategy, and in a Board that does not lead, but simply reacts. In order to unlock value for all shareholders, as we have previously expressed, the Company must change fundamentally, beginning at the Board level. In March, we privately notified you that we intend to nominate six exceptionally talented, independent candidates, who each bring desperately needed experience in retail and wholesale grocery, logistics, sustainability and corporate turnarounds, as well as fresh perspectives for your boardroom. Rather than enter into a constructive discussion, however, this Board preemptively publicized, only part, of our nomination notice, mischaracterizing our intentions and our rights as a shareholder. Nevertheless, Blackwells has continued in its attempt to constructively engage the Company, proposing reasonable changes to strengthen this Board for the benefit of all Supervalu shareholders...Meanwhile, the Company has yet to give shareholders notice or set a record date for the Supervalu annual meeting, which typically occurs in mid-July... Enter into constructive discussions about ways to strengthen this Board. Take the time to meet with each of our extraordinary board nominees. Fulfill your fundamental duties by scheduling an annual meeting...If not, we are determined to provide every Supervalu shareholder with the last say at the upcoming annual meeting. There they will have what we believe is a clear choice: between the status quo, with an entrenched Board that has proven itself unable to set a winning strategy, or a slate of highly qualified, independent board candidates who are prepared and committed to unlock value for all shareholders. "