September 12, 2018 / 12:29 AM / in 2 months

Marathon urges e.l.f Beauty to sell itself or cut costs: WSJ

(Reuters) - Activist investor Marathon Partners Equity Management is planning to push discount cosmetics maker e.l.f. Beauty Inc (ELF.N) to start a process to sell itself or refocus on its core operations and cut costs, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.

Marathon believes that e.l.f's branded cosmetics and its platform to get new products to customers faster could attract potential buyers, the Journal said on.wsj.com/2Mnq0kW.

The New York-based hedge fund also thinks that private-equity firm TPG, which owns nearly 30 percent of e.l.f. and has three representatives on the board, holds too much influence. It wants new directors who are unaffiliated with TPG added to the board, the newspaper said, citing a draft of a letter to e.l.f.’s chief executive.

The Journal quoted e.l.f. Chief Executive Tarang Amin saying the company had not yet received the letter but would review it “as we would any other stockholder communication.”

Marathon is the fourth largest shareholder in the company with an 8.54 percent stake, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Neither Marathon nor e.l.f Beauty could immediately be reached for comment.

E.l.f Beauty, which has a market capitalization of $637.6 million, has lost nearly 40 percent of its share value on the New York Stock Exchange this year.

Reporting by Saumya Sibi Joseph in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Cooney

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