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Bed Bath & Beyond settles with activist investor Ryan Cohen

Bed Bath & Beyond blinked. The struggling home goods retailer agreed to add three directors in a settlement with Ryan Cohen, the GameStop chairman and “meme stock” icon who recently took a 9.8% stake in the company. Shares of the retailer soared more than 8% Friday morning to nearly $24 on the news of billionaire Cohen’s deal to immediately install his nominees to the board, Marjorie Bowen, Shelly Lombard and Ben Rosenzweig. “I appreciate that management and the Board were willing to promptly embrace our ideas and look forward to supporting them in the year ahead,” Cohen said in a statement. Cohen and other investors have been calling on the company to sell itself or its BuyBuy Baby chain, which Bed Bath & Beyond chief executive, Mark Tritton, addressed in his statement. “Our BuyBuy Baby business is a tremendous asset,” Tritton said, “and we are committed to unlocking its full value.” The board will temporarily expand to 14 members before shrinking back down to 11 after the annual shareholder meeting, when the three members will stand for election. Cohen, who made his fortune on on Chewy.com which he founded in 2011 and sold to PetSmart for $3.4 billion in 2017, increased his stake in Gamestop by 100,000 shares this week. He became the chairman of the video game chain last year after taking a stake in it in 2020, sending its shares soaring. The billionaire has changed up the management and board of the company over the past year.

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