Hasbro backs CEO Cocks, highlights $1 billion investment in Wizards of the Coast in response to Alta Fox

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Hasbro Inc. HAS,
-0.59%
showed support for Chief Executive Chris Cocks and the revamped and diverse board lineup in a shareholder letter responding to activist investors Alta Fox Capital Management LLC. Alta Fox has a 2.6% stake in the toy company, according to the latest FactSet data, and seeks to add five directors to the company’s board and spin off Wizards of the Coast, the business unit that houses Dungeons & Dragons. Hasbro’s letter notes that Cocks became CEO just eight weeks ago, and he has doubled the size of the Wizards business in the three years from 2018 to 2021. “We firmly believe it is in your best interests, as a shareholder, to give him an opportunity to execute his gameplan and drive the performance of Hasbro as a whole,” the letter says. “Hasbro’s diverse and experienced Board, recently enhanced with the additions of Liz Hamren and Blake Jorgensen, is best positioned to support Chris, the management team and employees of Hasbro to drive value creation for the benefit of all our shareholders.” The letter goes on to say that the company has met with Alta Fox, and the activist group “lacks an understanding of Hasbro’s business.” Moreover, with $1 billion invested in Wizards over the past five years, a spin-off “would not create value for shareholders.” Hasbro also calls out the lack of “relevant experience” among Alta Fox’s nominees. Hasbro stock has slumped 13.6% for the year to date. The company will host its annual meeting on June 8. See Christmas in July: Hasbro moves up inventory purchases to make sure there are enough toys for the holidays

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Credit: www.marketwatch.com /

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