(Adds details, shares)
Feb 23 Activist investment fund Engaged Capital
LLC on Thursday nominated five members for election to
Rent-A-Center Inc's board, stepping up its efforts to
push the furniture retailer to sell itself.
Engaged Capital, which has a 12.9 percent stake in Rent-A-
Center, last week urged the retailer to explore strategic
alternatives, to which the company responded by saying it was
looking at strategies to cut costs and boost revenue.
Engaged Capital said on Thursday it was "unacceptable" that
Rent-A-Center's seven-member board was "stubbornly" pursuing a
"risky public turnaround" strategy when other options were
The activist fund also warned that the board could be acting
based on "personal loyalty" to chairman and interim chief
executive, Mark Speese, and expressed concern the board could
take actions that would harm shareholders.
Rent-A-Center, whose shares were up 2.6 percent at $8.62 in
late morning trading, was not immediately available for comment.
Speese owns a 2.3 percent stake in the company, according to
The fund said its nominees include Christopher Hetrick, its
former director of research; Mitchell Fadel, Rent-A-Center's
former president and chief operating officer; and Jeffrey Brown,
founder and chief executive of asset management firm Brown
Equity Partners LLC.
The other nominees are Carol McFate, who most recently
served as the chief investment officer of Xerox Corp,
and William Butler, former COO of rent-to-own furniture retailer
(Reporting by Gayathree Ganesan in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio