Ackman Protégé Calls For Helen Of Troy Shakeup

Feb 5 2014 | 9:37am ET

Helen of Troy is once more under siege.

Activist hedge fund Sachem Head Capital Management has launched a campaign, not against the mythical Greek beauty but against her namesake, a consumer products company whose lineup includes OXO International, Revlon and Dr. Scholl's.

New York-based Sachem Head yesterday blasted Helen of Troy for its poor corporate governance and failure to return capital to investors, demanding that it consider selling some of its assets—or itself. The hedge fund, which owns a 3.7% stake in the company, said its decision to intervene came in part after Helen of Troy replaced CEO Gerald Rubin with an internal candidate, Julien Mininberg.

"While the market reacted positively to Mr. Rubin's departure, we believe that with the benefit of full context, shareholders should share our entirely different view," Scott Ferguson, Sachem Head's founder, wrote. "We believe the circumstances surrounding his hasty resignation are, ironically, yet another example of inadequate board stewardship."

Ferguson spent nine years at Pershing Square Capital Management, leaving that firm in 2012 to set up Sachem Head. He's raised $1 billion at the new firm since its debut last year.

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