Shares of Furniture Brands ( FBN) jumped on word that a group of investors from Hong Kong and Taiwan is pressing for a bigger role in the company. Investors including residential furniture wholesaler Samson Holding said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that they "may consider various alternative courses of action and take any action deemed appropriate, including, but not limited to, the acquisition or disposition of
Furniture Brands' securities through open market transactions, seeking to acquire control of the company through privately negotiated transactions, tender offers, exchange offers, mergers or otherwise, seeking board representation, or making proposals to the company or its shareholders." The shareholders have or may in the future engage legal and financial advisers to assist them in evaluating strategic alternatives as they relate to their investment in Furniture Brands. Shares of Furniture Brands were surging 34.5% to $13.64. Samson had previously presented a proposal to Furniture Brands regarding a possible business combination that the company's board and management considered. Furniture Brands said in a statement that it requested further information from Samson, but until it gets it, the board and its own advisers won't be able to adequately evaluate the indication of interest. "We are always focused on driving long-term shareholder value," said Ralph P. Scozzafava, vice chairman and CEO-designate of Furniture Brands. "Furniture Brands' board and management team believe that our business model has power and value over the long term. We believe our strategic plan, which focuses on the company's brand power, strong retail position, and operational leverage, puts Furniture Brands in an excellent position to deliver strong long-term returns to all of our shareholders.'' Furniture Brands sells furniture under names that include Broyhill, Lane, Thomasville and Henredon.