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Activist Engaged Capital Pursues Strategies to Boost VF Corp's Share Price and Cut Costs

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Engaged Capital Aims to Boost VF Corp's Share Price and Cut Costs

Engaged Capital, an activist investor, has outlined a plan to increase VF Corp's share price and reduce costs. VF Corp, a consolidator of consumer footwear and apparel brands, operates through three segments: outdoor, active, and work. Engaged Capital, led by Glenn W. Welling, has a successful track record in small-cap activism but faces a new challenge with VF Corp, a larger company. The firm has called for cost reductions, restoration of brand autonomy, capital structure enhancement, and board refreshment.

Challenges Faced by VF Corp

Under the leadership of former CEO Steve Rendle, VF Corp underwent a significant reorganization, centralizing key functions and relying on acquisitions for growth. This strategy resulted in a drop in EBITDA margins, increased corporate expenses, and a decline in the stock price. The company was trading at 10-year lows when Engaged Capital intervened. Rendle left the company in December 2022, and Bracken Darrell, the former CEO of Logitech, took over as the new CEO in July 2023.

Engaged Capital's Turnaround Plan

Engaged Capital believes that the turnaround should begin with cost savings, pointing out actionable savings of over $300 million in the short term. However, simply improving EBITDA margins will not be enough to reverse the stock price decline. The firm suggests restoring brand autonomy, reinvesting a portion of the cost savings to support growth and a product-driven turnaround at Vans, which has experienced a decline in revenue. Engaged Capital also urges VF Corp to evaluate non-core divestitures to improve the balance sheet.

Board Representation and Accountability

Engaged Capital aims to have a board seat to oversee the turnaround and hold management accountable. With many current board members serving throughout Rendle's tenure, fresh blood on the board is seen as necessary. Engaged Capital is likely engaging in discussions with management regarding board representation. If an agreement is not reached, the firm may nominate directors during the director nomination window in January 2024. In conclusion, Engaged Capital is actively working to boost VF Corp's share price and cut costs through a comprehensive turnaround plan. The firm's focus on cost savings, brand autonomy, and divestitures, along with the appointment of a new CEO, signals a new direction for VF Corp. The outcome of Engaged Capital's efforts will be closely watched as decisions are made and the company's future unfolds.

Engaged Capital's Strategic Approach to Revive VF Corp

Engaged Capital's intervention in VF Corp's operations offers a fascinating case study for new businesses. The activist investor's plan to boost VF Corp's share price and cut costs is a bold move that could have significant implications for the company's future.

VF Corp's Challenges and Engaged Capital's Intervention

VF Corp's struggles under former CEO Steve Rendle's leadership resulted in a drop in EBITDA margins and a decline in stock price. Engaged Capital's intervention at this critical juncture is a testament to the influence activist investors can wield over struggling companies.
Lessons from Engaged Capital's Turnaround Plan
Engaged Capital's turnaround plan for VF Corp is a blueprint for new businesses. The focus on cost savings, restoring brand autonomy, and evaluating non-core divestitures underscores the importance of lean operations, brand identity, and strategic resource allocation.
Accountability and Board Representation
Engaged Capital's aim to secure a board seat to oversee the turnaround and hold management accountable is a crucial lesson for new businesses. The move highlights the importance of accountability at the highest levels of a company and the need for fresh perspectives to drive change. In sum, Engaged Capital's approach to reviving VF Corp provides valuable insights for new businesses. The activist investor's focus on cost savings, brand autonomy, and board accountability could serve as a guide for new companies seeking to establish themselves in a competitive market.
Story First Published at: https://www.cnbc.com/2023/11/04/activist-engaged-capital-sees-a-path-to-lift-vf-corps-share-price-and-slash-costs-.html
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