14531 Wed, 05/21/2008 - 12:36pm
ST. LOUIS–Furniture Brands International yesterday confirmed that Sun Capital Partners’ three nominees were elected to the eight-member board at its May 1 annual meeting, following a long and contentious proxy battle.
The three new directors—Alan Schwartz, a professor at Yale Law School; Ira Kaplan, the retired chief financial officer of Claire’s Stores; and T. Scott King, a managing director of Sun Capital—succeed three longtime Furniture Brand board members, Katherine Bell, Richard Loynd and Albert Suter.
Because the election and a shareholder proposal were contested, the results had to be audited by a special inspector of elections.
Ralph Scozzafava, chairman of the board and chief executive officer, who received the most votes for re-election, said the addition of the three new members “gives us the chance to gain fresh insights into how we are approaching our business and evaluating new opportunities. I know that we all look forward to working together to bring increased value to all Furniture Brands stockholders,” he said in a statement.
Rounding out the board are Aubrey Patterson, Bobby Martin, John Jordan and Mickey Holliman, who preceded Scozzafava at the helm and who recently retired as chairman.
Sun Capital, which owns a 9.5 percent stake in Furniture Brands, had made two unsuccessful bids to take over Furniture Brands, and has been critical of the company’s strategic turnaround plan. Furniture Brands had resisted Sun Capital’s nominees, arguing that there would be a conflict of interest, as Sun Capital owns several furniture competitors.