Highlights from the letter include:
- Industry analysts and
Farmer Bros. stockholders recognize the Company's significant progress and stockholder value creation under the current Board of Directors and management team, and have applauded:
- The Company's new customer wins and expansion of existing customer accounts that are driving green coffee pound volume increases;
- Successful and ongoing execution of a corporate relocation that is generating efficiencies and cost savings; and
- A turnaround plan that is leading to improvements in
Farmer Bros.' profitability.
- The current
Farmer Bros. Board, including the Board's three highly-qualified nominees, is actively engaged and collectively represents a strong mix of independence, executive experience, industry expertise, deep understanding of the Company's business, Farmer family representation and stockholder perspective.
- The current team is delivering superior value for stockholders through a successful turnaround that has driven an increase in the Company's stock price of over 225%, representing over
$400 millionin value creation for all stockholders.
- The future of
Farmer Bros. and your investment are at risk because the election of the Waite Group'sthree hand-picked nominees, combined with Farmer family representatives already on the Board, would effectively lead to a change of control of the Board and Farmer Bros. and the removal of the current successful management team.
The full text of the letter being mailed to stockholders follows:
At the upcoming
With a proven track record of driving growth and taking decisive action to ensure the long-term success of the Company, the current
Don't just take our word for it. We urge you to listen to industry analysts and other
INDEPENDENT INDUSTRY ANALYSTS AND STOCKHOLDERS HAVE APPLAUDED THE COMPANY'S LEADERSHIP AND TURNAROUND PLAN…
"Mr. Keown and his team have, over the last four years, begun to tackle the problems created by the Farmer family's poor operation of the business in the years preceding his hiring." - Grand Slam Asset Management,
"New management is working through a turnaround to make the company's operations and distribution more efficient, which is driving higher margins. The company turned profitable for the first time in FY2014 after nine years of losses, and we believe it is entering into a new growth phase characterized by a clear growth strategy to drive sales and a disciplined plan to boost margins." -
"The company appears to be better positioned to win business which is clearly translating into above industry growth coffee volume as is evidenced by three quarters of volume gains in the high single to low double digit range." - B. Riley,
"Farmer is better positioned to add sizeable national customers in the next several years due to the appeal of its wide range of products…In addition, we think Farmer will better streamline operations from previous acquisitions that were poorly integrated, and look for supply chain rationalization that will support incremental EPS growth." -
…AND ARE SUPPORTIVE OF THE COMPANY'S CORPORATE RELOCATION…
"After reviewing the [
"Margins have expanded in five straight quarters due to efficiencies gains as the company moved out of its
"The move to a location central to the nationwide customer base will propel more-efficient manufacturing capacity to support growth, which management expects to result in
"Profit margins are benefiting from the transition of production from the closed
…AND RECOGNIZE HOW OUR ACTIONS ARE DRIVING IMPROVED OPERATIONAL AND FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE AND CREATING STOCKHOLDER VALUE…
"Overall, we continue to believe that the company is in the early innings of a significant growth opportunity that should pay off for long-term investors." -
"We expect that the company's productivity initiatives and anticipated volume increases as well as consolidation of production into a new facility will generate significant profit margin improvement and earnings growth over the next few years." -
"We believe FARM is benefitting from an acceleration of bidding activity following purposeful scaled back selling efforts for the corporate relocation. We believe it is proving to be a more effective competitor and is taking share." - B. Riley,
…AND INCLUDE THE SUPPORT OF A MEMBER OF THE FOUNDING FARMER FAMILY AND CO-TRUSTEE OF NUMEROUS FARMER FAMILY TRUSTS
"I believe the management team is executing the right strategy to position
VOTING "FOR" THE COMPANY'S NOMINEES IS VOTING "FOR" STOCKHOLDER VALUE CREATION AND IMPROVED OPERATIONAL AND FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE
By voting "FOR" the Company's nominees, you are supporting the current Board and management team, who are…
- Delivering superior value for all stockholders through a successful turnaround that has driven an increase in the Company's stock price of over 225%, representing over
$400 millionin value creation for all stockholders;
- Executing a thoroughly planned corporate relocation that is expected to rationalize and simplify the Company's supply chain and produce annualized cost savings of approximately
$18 million to $20 million; and
- Enhancing governance and bringing fresh perspectives to the Board under a new independent Chairman appointed in 2015, with five new directors who were added in the past five years, ensuring that the Board has the right mix of independence, experience, expertise, company knowledge and Farmer family representation to deliver value to all stockholders.
In stark contrast, the
- Remove the successful management team and derail a proven turnaround strategy that is delivering strong operational and financial results and superior stockholder value;
- Return to a time when the Board allocated capital to dividends at the same time the Company was accumulating significant financial losses;
- Rely on the oversight of the
Waite Group'sthree unqualified, hand-picked nominees who have personal ties that would compromise the independence of the Board, add no value to the Board and lack the necessary experience to enhance stockholder value; and
- Give control of the
Board and Companyto select members of the Farmer family who the Board believes are singularly focused on taking over the Board and the Company for personal interest.
THE ANNUAL MEETING IS FAST APPROACHING –
PROTECT YOUR INVESTMENT BY VOTING TODAY
The current Board, including the Board's three nominees, and management team have driven improvements in the Company's operational and financial performance and delivered superior value creation to stockholders. The value of your investment and the future of
It is clear that the
We are confident that the current
We encourage you to vote today by signing and dating the enclosed GOLD proxy card and returning it in the postage-paid envelope provided,
On behalf of your Board of Directors, we thank you for your continued support.
Chairman of the Board
If you have any questions or require any assistance with respect to voting your shares, please contact the Company's proxy solicitor at the contact listed below:
470 West Avenue
Founded in 1912,
Certain statements in this communication constitute "forward-looking statements." When used in this communication, the words "will," "expects," "anticipates," "estimates" and "believes," and similar expressions and statements that are made in the future tense or refer to future events or developments, are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause the actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding the expected cost savings relating to the Company's corporate relocation. These statements are based on management's current expectations, assumptions, estimates and observations of future events and include any statements that do not directly relate to any historical or current fact; actual results may differ materially due in part to the risk factors set forth in our most recent annual, periodic and current reports filed with the
Undue reliance should not be placed on the forward-looking statements in this communication, which are based on information available to the Company on the date hereof, and the Company assumes no obligation to update such statements.
Important Additional Information and Where to Find It
THE COMPANY URGES ITS INVESTORS AND STOCKHOLDERS TO READ CAREFULLY AND IN THEIR ENTIRETY THE DEFINITIVE PROXY STATEMENT (INCLUDING ANY SUPPLEMENTS OR AMENDMENTS), THE ACCOMPANYING GOLD PROXY CARD AND ANY OTHER DOCUMENTS THAT THE COMPANY MAY FILE WITH THE SEC WHEN THEY BECOME AVAILABLE BECAUSE THEY WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION.
Copies of the definitive proxy statement (including any supplements or amendments), the accompanying GOLD proxy card, and any other documents filed by the Company with the
To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/stockholders-and-industry-analysts-voice-significant-support-for-farmer-bros-cos-turnaround-plan-and-leadership-team-300366364.html