Ethan Allen (NYSE:ETH) has had an up and down experience. Apparently when the economy is off not everyone wants to buy furniture. Recently they have been able to get a few things on track. But the Chairman, President and Principal Executive Officer seem to be pigging out at the trough.
The market cap is under a $1 Billion so its under the radar. But if an up and coming activist hedge fund manager wanting to build a name and put some scalps up on the wall this might be the place to try. It should be pretty cheap.
Farooq Kathwari 68 has been president since 1985 and owns some 14% of the shares. His compensation is well over $6 miilion a year. Other senior officers cannot even break $500,000. There is no clear cut successor as well. Just plain bad governance all around.
The board of directors is weak and maleable. The company’s 2012 Say on Pay vote received the support of only 57% of shares (down from 96% in 2011).
Three of six directors have served for over a decade. Astoundingly this includes the entire Compensation Committee and the chairs of all three of the board’s standing committees.
You can just see that Black Swan floating onto the scene. Something is going to bite them. Kristin Gamble, also serves as the lead independent director and chairs the Compensation Committee. After ten years it really is time for a change.
So again lets shout out to an activist hedge fund manager who wants to make a name for himself. This one has all the right components for activism.