Wynnefield wants Crown Crafts board shakeup   

Gonzales, La. – If last summer’s boardroom brawl at Crown Crafts seemed to fade from memory with the autumn’s audacious acquisition of the Springs infant and toddler business, the first chill presaging winter seems to signal a return to the trenches.

Dissident shareholder The Wynnefield Group, which holds 14.6% of the outstanding common stock in Crown Crafts, managed to get one of its candidates elected to the board. But Wynnefield general partner Nelson Obus now insists, in a letter to the board and also filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, that it is time for the board to empower an “independent strategic review committee advised by an outside industry consultant.”

Obus in the letter decries the “arrogance” of Crown Crafts chairman and ceo E. Randall Chestnut and the board for “blowing me off” in “a form letter,” and for “continuing to ignore my requests for the formation of the strategic review committee and the elimination of the staggered board.”

The reasoning of Obus and Wynnefield is presumably that they could more readily gain control of a board with all directors standing for election at once.

Obus concludes that “there is no doubt that the decisive majority of CRWS [Crown Crafts Inc.] shareholders share my concerns... I advise you to act on my requests without delay.”

HTT was not able to reach Chestnut for a direct comment today.

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