March 6, 2020 / 1:08 PM / a month ago

Activist investors in Big Lots look to shake up board

March 6 (Reuters) - Two activist investors on Friday announced an 11% stake in Big Lots Inc and said were looking to replace the retailer’s entire board, aiming to sell some of the company’s real estate to buy back shares and pay down debt.

Investors Macellum Advisors GP LLC and Ancora Advisors LLC said they had nominated nine people, including former Big Lots Chief Executive Steven Fishman to the company’s board. The retailer, which sells everything from food to furniture, currently has eight board members.

The investors collectively are the third largest stakeholder, according to Refinitiv data.

“The Company has been hampered by a Board that lacks relevant skill sets, has pursued a poor capital allocation strategy, and rejected credible offers to monetize Big Lot’s real estate assets,” the pair said in a joint statement.

Big Lots did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Last year, Macellum and Ancora pressured Bed Bath & Beyond Inc to replace long-time Chief Executive Officer Steven Temares and looked to shake up that company’s board as well.

Temares later stepped down.

Big Lots’ shares, which have lost nearly half their value over the last 12 months, were up 5% in premarket trading.

Reporting by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli

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