Back in February, Alta Fox Capital Management, an alternative asset management firm with a 2.5% stake in Hasbro, issued a letter to shareholders with a request to add new members to the Board of Directors, with Magic: The Gathering Hall of Famer, Jon Finkel, among them. Their stated goal was to reverse Hasbro’s underperformance through “a tax-free spin-off of Wizards”, short for Wizards of the Coast (WotC).
WotC’s parent company, Hasbro, rejected the offer from Alta Fox last week and as of Monday, April 4, had appointed two new board members of their own — Elizabeth Hamren and Blake Jorgensen. Hamren is the Chief Operating Officer at Discord, while Jorgensen was previously Chief Financial Officer at Electronic Arts. Hasbro Chairman of the Board, Rich Stoddart, described them as “proven, experienced leaders”.
Stoddart also stated that Alta Fox’s offer is “unlikely to create value, is contrary to Hasbro’s strategy, and would negatively impact the benefits Wizards realizes today from Hasbro’s Brand Blueprint on a consolidated basis…”.
Alta Fox responded to Hasbro’s rejection, calling it “defensive” and “reactionary”. Alta Fox also stated that “The Board’s desire to continue operating Hasbro like a family business is a flashing red light for change and an obvious indicator that shareholder-appointed directors are needed at the Company…” suggesting they likely intend to continue pushing the board to make changes.
Connor Haley, Managing Partner of Alta Fox commented further earlier today: “We believe Hasbro’s decision to initiate what appears to be a defensive and reactionary expansion of its Board validates shareholders’ significant concerns about the Company’s insular and ineffective corporate governance.”
Read the original article from Reuters.