By Colin Kellaher
Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. on Monday said it “regularly reviews all paths to create shareholder value,” and that it plans talks with billionaire investor Ryan Cohen about his ideas for the housewares retailer.
The Union, NJ, company said it will “carefully review” a letter from RC Ventures LLC, Mr. Cohen’s investment vehicle, and that it hopes to “engage constructively around the ideas they have put forth.”
The Wall Street Journal on Sunday reported that Mr. Cohen, the co-founder of online pet-products retailer Chewy Inc., had taken a 9.8% stake in Bed Bath & Beyond and is pushing the company to streamline its strategy and explore strategic alternatives .
The news sent Bed Bath & Beyond shares soaring more than 50% in premarket trading.
In a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, RC Ventures said it beneficially owns roughly 9.45 million bed Bath & Beyond shares, making it the retailer’s fourth-largest shareholder, according to data from FactSet.
Bed Bath & Beyond on Monday said its board and management team maintain a consistent dialogue with its shareholders, and that it had no prior contact with RC Ventures.
The company said last year was its first executing a multi-year transformation plan that it said will create significant long-term shareholder value.”
However, RC Ventures said in its letter that it believes “cracks have emerged in Bed Bath’s overly ambitious strategy,” and it called on the retailer to “narrow its focus to fortify operations” while exploring options that include separating its Buybuy Baby chain and a full sale of the company.
Bed Bath & Beyond shares, which closed Friday at $16.18, were recently changing hands at $24.34, up 50.4%, in premarket trading.
Write to Colin Kellaher at [email protected]