May 23, 2018 / 4:16 PM / 10 months ago

Activists win proxy contest at Destination Maternity

BOSTON, May 23 (Reuters) - Activist investors took control of the board of maternity and baby clothing retailer Destination Maternity on Wednesday when investors voted to replace all four directors with four dissidents, including three women, three sources said.

While the results have not yet been certified, the company said at its annual meeting earlier on Wednesday that the preliminary vote count showed that all four dissidents were elected, the sources said.

Investors voted to seat Holly Alden, Anne-Charlotte Windal, Marla Ryan and Christopher Morgan.

The vote ends what had become an increasingly bitter proxy battle between investors Nathan Miller and Peter O'Malley, who own roughly 9 percent of the company, and management and had pushed for corporate changes. In a regulatory filing Miller had accused the company of "governance shenanigans" as it appeared unclear how many directors would be elected at Wednesday's meeting.

The company's stock price, which had tumbled some 30 percent over the last 52 weeks, climbed 5.5 percent to $2.87 in mid-morning trading. Over the last five years, the stock price has fallen from roughly $30 a share.

Other large investors including Royce & Associates, Renaissance Technologies, and the Vanguard Group.

Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; Editing by Dan Grebler

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