Box Climbs as Starboard Steps Up Board Pressure

Starboard Value launches a proxy fight and nominates four candidates for Box's board ahead of a May 11 deadline.
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Shares of Box (BOX) - Get Report jumped Monday after the activist investment group Starboard Value launched a proxy battle and nominated four candidates for election to the content-management company's board. 

Box shares at last check were up 5.9% to $22.40. 

Starboard, which owns about 8% of the Redwood City, Calif., company, has said that Box had failed to capitalize on the work-from-home trend during the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns. 

"While last year we were pleased to reach agreement on the appointment of two new independent director candidates, it is now clear that those appointments have not created enough change," Starboard said in a letter to Box shareholders. 

The company stated that Starboard's comments do not "accurately depict" the progress Box has made in the work-from-home space. 

In March, Box shares surged amid reports that the company was exploring a sale after being pressured by activist investors including Starboard Value. The company said that it was extending its deadline for proposing changes to its board until May 11. 

In 2019, Starboard had disclosed a 7.5% stake in Box and the company at the time said that it was willing to work with the investment firm. 

"The Box Board is composed of independent, diverse and highly experienced directors, all of whom have served in C-suite positions at multibillion-dollar publicly traded software, technology, or financial services companies," the company said on Monday in response to Starboard. 

"Together, the Box board has the expertise to guide the successful execution of Box’s growth strategy."