The Pantry, Inc. (NASDAQ:PTRY), a leading independently operated convenience store chain in the southeastern U.S., today responded to a report issued by Glass, Lewis & Co., LLC (“Glass Lewis”) on February 27, 2014 in connection with the Company's 2014 Annual Meeting of Stockholders on March 13, 2014, as well as to a press release subsequently issued by the dissident stockholder group led by JCP Investment Management, LLC (“the dissident group”) on February 28, 2014.
The Pantry issued the following statement:
“We are disappointed with the report issued by Glass Lewis, which contains numerous inaccuracies that illustrate Glass Lewis’ fundamental lack of understanding of our business. Glass Lewis made several incorrect observations about The Pantry and its Board of Directors, including but not limited to:
- Repeatedly misidentifying Tad Dickson, the director candidate whom the Company nominated in January 2014 to stand for election to the Board, as Terry McElroy, who has been a Board member since 2006 and is one of our longest-serving directors;
- Wrongly asserting that Mr. Dickson’s extensive experience in the supermarket industry—including serving most recently as Chairman and CEO of Harris Teeter Supermarkets, a leading food retailer in the southeastern U.S. with 216 stores and $4.1 billion of revenue—does not constitute valid retail experience, despite the fact that Harris Teeter is a renowned leader in the supermarket industry offering fresh and prepared food for immediate consumption; and
- Suggesting that director nominee Kathleen Guion did not have relevant fuel experience, when in fact, she accumulated significant fuel experience through her service as President and COO of E-Z Serve Convenience Stores, a chain of over 600 stores with fuel operations in the Houston area, and as Vice President and General Manager of 7-Eleven convenience stores. Ms. Guion also demonstrated exceptional retail experience as an executive with Dollar General, which under her leadership significantly expanded its food merchandise offering.
“We believe these gross inaccuracies indicate that Glass Lewis did not give careful consideration to our business, strategy and Board constitution. Accordingly, we strongly urge stockholders to disregard the information contained in Glass Lewis’ unreliable report.