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Struggling Retailer Bed, Bath & Beyond Has Very Sad News

A tragedy has just struck the home good retailer which is fighting for its survival.
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Things are not looking up for Bed, Bath & Beyond  (BBBY) - Get Free Report

While the home goods retailer is struggling not to disappear, tragedy has struck: its Chief Financial Officer (CFO) had allegedly just committed suicide. 

According to the New York Post, a man jumped to his death from a new skyscraper known as the “Jenga Building" in the Tribeca neighborhood of Manhattan. It is Gustavo Arnal, 52, who allegedly jumped from the 18th floor of this building on Sept. 2, says the newspaper citing police sources.

The company later confirmed the death of its CFO: "Bed Bath & Beyond today announced that Gustavo Arnal, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the company, passed away on September 2, 2022. The entire Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. organization is profoundly saddened by this shocking loss."

"Gustavo will be remembered by all he worked with for his leadership, talent and stewardship of our company. I am proud to have been his colleague, and he will be truly missed by all of us at Bed Bath & Beyond and everyone who had the pleasure of knowing him," said Harriet Edelman, Independent Chair of Board of Directors. 

"Our focus is on supporting his family and his team and our thoughts are with them during this sad and difficult time. Please join us in respecting the family's privacy."

On the company's website, Arnal has the title of "Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer."

"Mr. Arnal joins the company in 2020 from Avon, a leading direct-selling beauty company where he helped lead a successful business turnaround effort," his biography said. "Prior to Avon, Mr. Arnal was CFO, International Divisions and Global Functions at Walgreens Boots Alliance."

He also worked for Procter & Gamble as CFO of India, Middle East and Africa, CFO Global Fabric and Home Care, and CFO Global Personal Beauty.

Arnal Sold Shares on Aug. 16

Arnal on Aug. 16 sold 42,513 Bed, Bath & Beyond shares for $1.42 million, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Then on Aug. 17, he sold 12,500 additional shares for $255,396. In total, he raised $1.67 million for these transactions. Arnal still had roughly 255,400 shares remaining.

Billionaire activist investor Ryan Cohen, co-founder of Chewy, Inc  (CHWY) - Get Free Report, also liquidated his entire 10% stake in Bed, Bath & Beyond on Aug. 16, according to a SEC filing.

Arnal is one of the parties cited in a class action suit for securities fraud filed on August 23 in federal court in Washington D.C. The plaintiffs accuse the defendants including Bed, Bath & Beyond of having participated in artificially inflating the company's share price.

The sad news comes as BBBY has just announced a turnaround plan which disappointed investors. Arnal was one of the executives who presented the details of the turnaround plan to investors and analysts.

Reduce Costs

The home good retailer announced the potential launch of an at-the-market offering program for up to 12 million shares of common stock. Last quarter, Bed Bath & Beyond reported total debt of $3.27 billion and a debt-to-equity ratio of -23.47. This indicates that the company's liabilities exceed its assets.

According to Bloomberg, some suppliers have already paused shipments to Bed Bath & Beyond after the company delayed some payments.

The company will close approximately 150 lower-producing Bed Bath & Beyond stores and lay off about 20% of its employees. It hopes to reduce selling, general, and administrative expenses by $250 million for fiscal 2022, compared to a previous forecast of $400 million.

It also secured $500 million in new debt financing. But the firm decided to keep its Buybuy Baby business when investors hoped that the chain was going to sell it.

"We are working swiftly and diligently to strengthen our liquidity and secure our path for the future. We have taken a thorough look at our business, and today, we are announcing immediate actions aimed to increase customer engagement, drive traffic, and recapture market share," said at the time interim CEO Sue Gove. "This includes changing our merchandising and inventory strategy, which will be rooted in National Brands. Additionally, we are focused on driving digital and foot traffic, as well as optimizing our store fleet."