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GONZALES, La., July 19, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Crown Crafts, Inc. (the "Company") (Nasdaq:CRWS) today issued a letter to all shareholders in connection with the election of directors at the Company's annual meeting of shareholders to be held on August 10, 2010.
Commenting on the current proxy fight instigated by the New York-based investment fund Wynnefield Partners Small Cap Value L.P. and certain affiliates (the "Wynnefield Group"), E. Randall Chestnut, the Company's Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, said, "Crown Crafts continued to build on its successful strategic trajectory in fiscal 2010, which was a great year for Crown Crafts despite the recession-related challenges that impacted retail markets. Among other things, (1) we maintained a stable top line while generating strong cash flows from operations, (2) we instituted a new quarterly dividend payout of $0.02 per share, further strengthened our enviable balance sheet and raised shareholders' equity by 23%, and (3) we increased Adjusted EBITDA* to $10.5 million, the highest level since 1998.
* Please see discussion of non-GAAP financial measures at the end of the attached letter.
"We are proud of the positive momentum we have created for our shareholders, and we enter fiscal 2011 with great enthusiasm for the value creation opportunities that are now before us. This is why the ongoing, misleading antics by the Wynnefield Group to advance their own narrow, self-serving, short-sighted agenda are so frustrating and counterproductive."
In 2007, the Wynnefield Group pursued a costly and distracting proxy fight in which only one of their candidates was elected. In 2008, the Wynnefield Group threatened a similar campaign before the Company agreed to allow the dissident investor to add a handpicked director to the Company's Board.
Chestnut noted that neither individual appears to have the support of the Wynnefield Group anymore because their 2010 slate does not include their nominee who was elected in 2007 and whose term is expiring, and they have suggested that their director appointed in 2008 step down from the Board. "Additionally, the dissident investor's current nominees have absolutely no experience in our industry and are lacking in relevant qualifications when compared to the Company's slate," he said.