Engaged Capital has won the support of V.F. Corp.’s (NYSE:VFC) founding family in its battle with the owner of brands such as North Face, Vans, and Timberland.
Engaged Capital, which has a 1.3% stake in VF (VFC), has won the support of descendants of John Barbey, who founded VF in 1899, according to a Reuters report on Sunday, which cited Kelly Barbey. The Barbey family members now collectively own about 15% of VF.
The Barbey family wants two directors on VF’s 12-member board replaced, Kelly Barbey told Reuters. The family wants Clarence Otis, a director since 2004, and Juliana Chugg, a director since 2009, removed.
Engaged Capital has identified people with retail sector and turnaround expertise to serve as director candidates, according to Reuters, which cited sources familiar with the matter. The deadline to nominate directors is on Tuesday.
The news comes after Engaged Capital first disclosed a stake in the apparel and footwear company in October. Engaged believes V.F. Corp (VFC) can realize a mid-$40 share price within three years, according to a copy of a presentation presented at an activist investor conference.
Engaged is looking for VFC to make operational improvements, including cutting costs that may be worth more than $300 million a year. The activist also wants the company to conduct a strategic review of its noncore assets and real estate and possibly look to refresh its board. Some brands VFC could look to unload include Timberland, Dickies, Supreme, and Smartwool.
VFC (VFC) announced this month a strategic review and CEO Bracken Darrell didn’t provide specifics as to which brands could be on the chopping block, but he did confirm that there are “no sacred cows.”