BLUM Growth Fund, activist shareholder in Cosi, Inc. (NASDAQ: COSI), today announced it has received 95 shareholder responses from its survey taken over the past week. Nearly unanimous, the survey results and accompanying comments show overwhelming support for the BLUM Growth Fund plan for Cosi and overwhelming lack of confidence in the current Board of Directors to engage the right CEO for Cosi to lead the brand to short and long term profitability.
Noted restaurant turnaround executive and owner of BLUM Growth Fund, Brad Blum, has publicly called for the board to take action to protect shareholder investments and restore lost value, evidenced by the consistently declining stock price of Cosi. To no avail, there have been numerous offers from BLUM Growth Fund to meet with the current Board of Directors to have them respond to various serious and comprehensive proposals designed to create shareholder value.
Since all these opportunities were ignored by the Board of Directors, BLUM Growth Fund offered a forum for shareholders to express their opinions in an effort to exercise “shareholder democracy.” It is noted that “shareholder democracy” is very different from a proxy fight, which is expensive and time consuming. Rather, it is a new and innovative way for shareholders to communicate their genuine feedback directly to the Cosi Board of Directors in a timely manner.
“We did not know the nature of the responses we would receive,” said Blum. “The responses were overwhelmingly and emphatically clear indicating a lack of confidence in the current Board of Directors and their desire to implement the BLUM Growth Fund plan, as provided to the Cosi Board and the public. We remain hopeful that, with this latest information, the Board would now be willing to meet and discuss how best to improve company performance and greatly increase shareholder value, and to do so on a timely basis.”