Buffalo Wild Wings' war of words
May 18, 2017
by Erica Shaffer
The company released an investor presentation calling out activist investor Marcato.
MINNEAPOLIS – No sticks and stones are involved in the battle between Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD) executives and investor Marcato Capital Management LP, but the words definitely are stinging.
Buffalo Wild Wings released a 93-page presentation to the company’s investors highlighting the chain’s strengths while laying out the company’s reasons for shareholders to reject Marcato’s franchising and executive reorganization plans.
Marcato, which owns a 6.1 percent interest in Buffalo Wild Wings, has publicly challenged the company’s board to make leadership and structural changes that Marcato believes are necessary to increase shareholder value. Buffalo Wild Wings countered that Marcato has rejected efforts by Buffalo Wild Wings to resolve the proxy fight.
In this latest salvo, Buffalo Wild Wings detailed its reasons for not electing Marcato’s picks for the board of directors, with the exception of Sam Rovit. The company also singled out Marcato founder Mick McGuire’s “track record of losses in the boardroom,” noting that defunct bookseller Borders declared bankruptcy during McGuire’s tenure on the company’s board. And during his time on the board of NCR, Buffalo Wild Wings called 2015 “The lost year” during which the consumer technology company’s share price declined 8 percent.
Marcato has made its own appeals to Buffalo Wild Wings shareholders regarding why board-level change is necessary. In a letter to investors dated May 11 Marcato said: “You’ve heard a lot from both sides. But what you have not heard from CEO Sally Smith, or any BWLD Board member, is how any of the Company’s current initiatives translate into quantifiable appreciation in equity value per share over any time period. “
Buffalo Wild Wings’ annual meeting is scheduled for June 2.