|By PR Newswire||
|February 3, 2014 04:58 PM EST||
NEW YORK, Feb. 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Clinton Group, Inc., which together with its affiliates and members of its group ("Clinton Group"), owns more than 9% of the outstanding stock of ValueVision Media, Inc. (Nasdaq: VVTV) ("ValueVision" or the "Company"), today criticized the ValueVision Board of Directors (the "Board") for failing to organize a Special Meeting of Shareholders (a "Special Meeting") by February 2, 2014, as Clinton Group believes was required under Minnesota law and the Company's Bylaws.
In November, as was its right under Minnesota corporate law, the Clinton Group filed a notice with the Company calling for a Special Meeting to be held within ninety days to consider various proposals to improve the Company's governance and to replace a majority of the Board. Ninety days passed on Sunday and no such Special Meeting was held.
"The ValueVision Board has sought to hide behind various irrelevant technicalities in refusing to permit shareholders to vote in a timely way," said Gregory P. Taxin, President of the Clinton Group. "This blatant effort to delay the inevitable and tilt the playing field is an example of the worst sort of Board entrenchment imaginable. We do not believe our fellow owners will take this affront to shareholder rights lightly."
The Clinton Group sent ValueVision a letter today criticizing the Board for failing to call a timely meeting and failing to permit shareholders to vote on the Clinton Group's proposals. The Clinton Group indicated that it will pursue its proposals at the Company's next Annual Meeting of Shareholders, which is scheduled to be held in June.
A complete copy of the Clinton Group's letter is below:
[Clinton Group Letterhead]
February 3, 2014
Mr. Randy S. Ronning
ValueVision Media Inc.
6740 Shady Oak Road
Eden Prairie, MN 55344
Re: ValueVision Media's Manipulation of the Shareholder Franchise
Dear Mr. Ronning:
Clinton Group, Inc., its affiliates and members of its group (the "Clinton Group") are the second largest owner of the ValueVision Media Inc. (the "Company" or "ValueVision").
As was our right under Minnesota law, as a 10% shareholder, we filed paperwork with the Company - more than 300 pages in all - seeking a Special Meeting of Shareholders to consider several proposals we have for our fellow owners. In particular, as you know, we were seeking the removal of a majority of the Board of Directors (the "Board") and the election of seven independent and highly qualified nominees (the "Nominees"). We also proposed several improvements to the Company's corporate governance.
Minnesota law is clear. When faced with such a request by a suitably large group of investors, the Board of Directors is to call a meeting within 90 days. That period elapsed yesterday, and yet there has been no meeting. Instead, faced with a referendum on its own tenure, the Board has dragged its feet by hiding behind irrelevant technicalities and selected a distant date most suitable and advantageous for the incumbent directors, in violation of binding Minnesota law.
Your offer to hold the Special Meeting on March 14 was undoubtedly engineered by the craftiest of the seven professional advisory firms you had the Company hire to help you and your fellow directors avoid a plebiscite on the Board's performance. The Company's Fourth Quarter is traditionally the most important quarter of the year. It appears to us that your extra-legal scheduling of the Special Meeting for March 14 was calculated to allow management to release Fourth Quarter results (if they are helpful to the Board's cause) or not release them (if those results continue the disappointing pattern of financial under-performance etched over the last five years). We note that in the prior four years, the Company has released its Fourth Quarter results on March 6, March 15, March 17 and March 26, providing the Board ample cover for releasing or not releasing results prior to the putative Special Meeting.
Moreover, as you know, one of the Board's most qualified and respected directors, Robert Pick, recently resigned from the Board. We had hoped Mr. Pick, who represented the Company's largest shareholder, Comcast, would continue to serve alongside our proposed Nominees. In light of his resignation, we sought to modify our proposals, leaving in place other incumbent directors to ensure the business has the benefit of continuity among the Board even as most of the Board is replaced by more experienced and qualified directors from our slate. But no. Despite the improperly delayed meeting (and the intervening resignation of Mr. Pick), you and your fellow directors have refused to allow us to modify our proposals to ensure shareholders can achieve an optimal outcome. (So now, even though you deemed our original proposals technically improper, you are insisting that we propose them rather than the modified versions we actually want to put in front of our fellow shareholders in light of the change in Board composition that occurred while you delayed the meeting. Oh, what a tangled web you weave!)
In summary, the Board has offered to hold a meeting on a date outside of the law's requirements (to your own advantage) to consider stale proposals the propounding shareholder no longer advocates.
We do not believe our fiduciaries should be gaming shareholders in this way.
Since you have forced shareholders to wait this long – jeopardizing further the possibility of a successful turnaround by a new Board – shareholders should at least have the benefit of full year 2013 results, the Company's annual report, and time to consider (and receive proxy advisory recommendations) on these materials before voting. And, shareholders should be permitted to consider proposals that are crafted in light of circumstances (i.e. Mr. Pick's resignation) that have changed since November, when we made our original proposals.
We understand that the directors enjoy their unusually lucrative Board positions, but that is no reason to deny shareholders their rights under the law. Mr. Ronning, you in particular, suffer from a stark conflict of interest in these matters. Your compensation as Chairman of the Company is wildly outsized at $413,000 last year; indeed your pay was up 30% year-over-year, was paid mostly (70%) in cash, was twice as high as the average HSN director and was nearly double that of the average Fortune 500 director, according to the Company's own compensation advisor.
While you undoubtedly desire to retain this plum assignment, public shareholders have a different interest: we seek directors who can execute the role of overseeing strategy and management with independence and prowess. With ValueVision's stock flat over the past three years (while HSN has doubled in value and the Russell 2000 is up 41%), we believe shareholders should be given a fair opportunity to choose different directors.
But the Board has insisted on a tilted playing field in which it sets the rules, irrespective of controlling law, to further, we believe, the directors' own desire to remain on the Board. You have cleverly attempted, in our view, to push the Special Meeting to March 14 to gain an information advantage over the shareholders and treat them as your objects rather than properly regarding yourself as their fiduciary. Most recently, the directors have taken it onto themselves to decide which proposals we are permitted to put before our fellow shareholders, in an effort to ensure those proposals are not optimal.
We will not play on such a field because we will not condone such seemingly blatant efforts by our fiduciaries to serve their own interests. We therefore intend to bypass your sua sponte Special Meeting and its stale version of our proposals.
That being said, we are immensely grateful for all the support we have received from our fellow shareholders and from current and former employees and vendors. There is a clear pattern that emerges from the dozens of communications we have had with this latter group: the Company is saddled with a dysfunctional corporate culture and management structure, replete with bullying, arbitrary decision making, a lack of vision, an inability to plan, coarse language, internal dissension, high turnover and management cliques. While the picture painted by those intimately familiar with the Company's operation is deeply troubling, it also emboldens our view that the wounds shareholders have suffered (e.g. just two profitable quarters since Mr. Stewart took the helm 19 quarters ago) have been inflicted by poor management (and even worse strategic decision making), which can be rectified with the appropriate change in personnel.
Mr. Ronning, while we will not show up to your Special Meeting, we also will not relent in our efforts to rectify the Company's lack of strategic vision and management and Board talent. No amount of sleight-of-hand and manipulation of the shareholder franchise by the incumbent Board will prevent the shareholders from achieving the changes required to optimize performance and enhance value.
It is just a matter of time, Mr. Ronning. On that score, we look forward to seeing you at the Company's Annual Meeting in June.
Gregory P. Taxin
cc: Board of Directors, ValueVision Media
Clinton Group, Inc. and certain of its affiliates, officers and employees intend to make a preliminary filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") of a proxy solicitation statement to be used to solicit proxies for the removal of a majority of the directors from the Board, the expansion of the size of the Board and the election of new individuals to the Board, among other things.
This communication is not a proxy solicitation, which may be done only pursuant to a definitive written proxy statement.
About Clinton Group,Inc.
Clinton Group, Inc. is a diversified asset management firm that is a Registered Investment Advisor. The firm has been investing in global markets since its inception in 1991 with expertise that spans a wide range of investment styles and asset classes.
CLINTON SPOTLIGHT MASTER FUND, L.P., CLINTON MAGNOLIA MASTER FUND, LTD., CLINTON RELATIONAL OPPORTUNITY MASTER FUND, L.P., CLINTON RELATIONAL OPPORTUNITY, LLC, CHANNEL COMMERCE PARTNERS, L.P., CLINTON GROUP, INC., GEORGE E. HALL (COLLECTIVELY, "CLINTON"), CANNELL CAPITAL LLC, TRISTAN OFFSHORE FUND, LTD., TRISTAN PARTNERS, L.P., CUTTYHUNK II FUND LLC, TONGA PARTNERS, L.P. AND J. CARLO CANNELL (COLLECTIVELY, "CANNELL") INTEND TO FILE WITH THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION (THE "SEC") A DEFINITIVE PROXY STATEMENT AND ACCOMPANYING PROXY CARD TO BE USED TO SOLICIT PROXIES FROM THE STOCKHOLDERS OF VALUEVISION MEDIA, INC. ("VALUEVISION") IN CONNECTION WITH THE ANNUAL MEETING OF STOCKHOLDERS OF VALUEVISION. ALL STOCKHOLDERS OF VALUEVISION ARE ADVISED TO READ THE DEFINITIVE PROXY STATEMENT AND OTHER DOCUMENTS RELATED TO THE SOLICITATION OF PROXIES FROM THE STOCKHOLDERS OF VALUEVISION BY CLINTON, CANNELL, THOMAS DAVID BEERS, DORRIT M. BERN, MARK BOZEK, MELISSA B. FISHER, THOMAS D. MOTTOLA, ROBERT ROSENBLATT AND FRED SIEGEL (COLLECTIVELY, THE "PARTICIPANTS") WHEN THEY BECOME AVAILABLE BECAUSE THEY WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION, INCLUDING ADDITIONAL INFORMATION RELATED TO THE PARTICIPANTS. WHEN COMPLETED, THE DEFINITIVE PROXY STATEMENT AND FORM OF PROXY WILL BE FURNISHED TO SOME OR ALL OF THE STOCKHOLDERS OF VALUEVISION AND WILL, ALONG WITH OTHER RELEVANT DOCUMENTS, BE AVAILABLE AT NO CHARGE ON THE SEC'S WEB SITE AT HTTP://WWW.SEC.GOV. IN ADDITION, CLINTON WILL PROVIDE COPIES OF THE DEFINITIVE PROXY STATEMENT AND ACCOMPANYING PROXY CARD (WHEN AVAILABLE) WITHOUT CHARGE UPON REQUEST.
INFORMATION ABOUT THE PARTICIPANTS AND A DESCRIPTION OF THEIR DIRECT OR INDIRECT INTERESTS BY SECURITY HOLDINGS IS CONTAINED IN EXHIBIT 2 TO THE SCHEDULE 14A FILED BY CLINTON WITH THE SEC ON NOVEMBER 5, 2013. THIS DOCUMENT CAN BE OBTAINED FREE OF CHARGE FROM THE SOURCES INDICATED ABOVE.
SOURCE Clinton Group, Inc.
The BPM world is going through some evolution or changes where traditional business process management solutions really have nowhere to go in terms of development of the road map. In this demo at 15th Cloud Expo, Kyle Hansen, Director of Professional Services at AgilePoint, shows AgilePoint’s unique approach to dealing with this market circumstance by developing a rapid application composition or development framework.
Dec. 20, 2014 05:00 PM EST Reads: 1,133
SYS-CON Events announced today Isomorphic Software, the global leader in high-end, web-based business applications, will exhibit at SYS-CON's DevOps Summit 2015 New York, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Isomorphic Software is the global leader in high-end, web-based business applications. We develop, market, and support the SmartClient & Smart GWT HTML5/Ajax platform, combining the productivity and performance of traditional desktop software ...
Dec. 20, 2014 01:00 PM EST Reads: 1,112
ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is bringing a greater level of control, security and flexibility to cloud-based application development and delivery with a single-tenant version of Bluemix, IBM's
"BSQUARE is in the business of selling software solutions for smart connected devices. It's obvious that IoT has moved from being a technology to being a fundamental part of business, and in the last 18 months people have said let's figure out how to do it and let's put some focus on it, " explained Dave Wagstaff, VP & Chief Architect, at BSQUARE Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 20, 2014 12:00 PM EST Reads: 1,927
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com...
Dec. 20, 2014 11:30 AM EST Reads: 2,368
"Our premise is Docker is not enough. That's not a bad thing - we actually love Docker. At ActiveState all our products are based on open source technology and Docker is an up-and-coming piece of open source technology," explained Bart Copeland, President & CEO of ActiveState Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 20, 2014 11:00 AM EST Reads: 1,946
The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, discussed the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover ...
Dec. 20, 2014 11:00 AM EST Reads: 2,248
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, p...
Dec. 20, 2014 10:45 AM EST Reads: 2,223
The move in recent years to cloud computing services and architectures has added significant pace to the application development and deployment environment. When enterprise IT can spin up large computing instances in just minutes, developers can also design and deploy in small time frames that were unimaginable a few years ago. The consequent move toward lean, agile, and fast development leads to the need for the development and operations sides to work very closely together. Thus, DevOps become...
Dec. 20, 2014 10:00 AM EST Reads: 2,008
SYS-CON Media announced today that Aruna Ravichandran, VP of Marketing, Application Performance Management and DevOps at CA Technologies, has joined DevOps Journal’s authors. DevOps Journal is focused on this critical enterprise IT topic in the world of cloud computing. DevOps Journal brings valuable information to DevOps professionals who are transforming the way enterprise IT is done. Aruna's inaugural article "Four Essential Cultural Hacks for DevOps Newbies" discusses how to demonstrate the...
Dec. 20, 2014 10:00 AM EST Reads: 1,746
Verizon Enterprise Solutions is simplifying the cloud-purchasing experience for its clients, with the launch of Verizon Cloud Marketplace, a key foundational component of the company's robust ecosystem of enterprise-class technologies. The online storefront will initially feature pre-built cloud-based services from AppDynamics, Hitachi Data Systems, Juniper Networks, PfSense and Tervela. Available globally to enterprises using Verizon Cloud, Verizon Cloud Marketplace provides a one-stop shop fo...
Dec. 20, 2014 09:00 AM EST Reads: 1,937
AppZero has announced that its award-winning application migration software is now fully qualified within the Microsoft Azure Certified program. AppZero has undergone extensive technical evaluation with Microsoft Corp., earning its designation as Microsoft Azure Certified. As a result of AppZero's work with Microsoft, customers are able to easily find, purchase and deploy AppZero from the Azure Marketplace. With just a few clicks, users have an Azure-based solution for moving applications to the...
Dec. 20, 2014 09:00 AM EST Reads: 960
“In the past year we've seen a lot of stabilization of WebRTC. You can now use it in production with a far greater degree of certainty. A lot of the real developments in the past year have been in things like the data channel, which will enable a whole new type of application," explained Peter Dunkley, Technical Director at Acision, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 20, 2014 08:00 AM EST Reads: 1,283
SYS-CON Events announced today that IDenticard will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. IDenticard™ is the security division of Brady Corp (NYSE: BRC), a $1.5 billion manufacturer of identification products. We have small-company values with the strength and stability of a major corporation. IDenticard offers local sales, support and service to our customers across the United States and Canada...
Dec. 20, 2014 07:00 AM EST Reads: 2,087
SYS-CON Events announced today that AIC, a leading provider of OEM/ODM server and storage solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. AIC is a leading provider of both standard OTS, off-the-shelf, and OEM/ODM server and storage solutions. With expert in-house design capabilities, validation, manufacturing and production, AIC's broad selection of products are highly flexible and are conf...
Dec. 20, 2014 07:00 AM EST Reads: 1,869