May 24, 2016 / 11:56 AM / a year ago

Barington launches proxy fight against apparel retailer Chico's

May 24 (Reuters) - Barington Capital said on Tuesday it nominated two directors to the board of Chico’s FAS Inc, launching a proxy fight over expenses at the women’s apparel retailer.

Barington, which owns about 1.4 percent of Chico’s FAS, said the company “should reduce its substantial corporate overhead and significantly decrease its advertising and other SG&A expenses.”

The activist investor has nominated its Chairman and Chief Executive James Mitarotonda and industry veteran Janet Grove, who served as vice chairman of department store operator Macy’s Inc from 2003 to 2011.

If Barington and Chico’s FAS cannot reach an agreement on the nominations before an annual meeting on July 21, the fate of the nominees will go to a shareholder vote.

Barington said that if the company was “more effectively managed” and expenses were reduced to levels comparable to its peers, Chico’s could more than double its earnings per share in three years.

The Wall Street Journal reported news of the proxy fight on Monday, citing people familiar with the matter. (Reporting by Subrat Patnaik in Bengaluru; Editing by Don Sebastian)

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