Shares of retailer Bed Bath & Beyond more than doubled in early trading Monday after investor Ryan Cohen disclosed a sizable stake in the company and sent a letter to management blasting the company’s dismal stock performance and falling revenues, in an effort similar to one that helped propel fellow brick-and-mortar GameStop to massive stock gains last year.
Bed Bath & Beyond shares soared as much as 110 percent to $34 in premarket trading Monday after Cohen disclosed in a letter to the company on Sunday that his investment firm had bought a roughly 9.8 percent stake, making it one of the company’s top five owners.
Cohen, who cofounded and headed pet-focused startup Chewy as CEO until 2018, said he was “not in a position” to join Bed Bath & Beyond’s board due to his work as GameStop chair, but he did warn that his investment firm will hold the retailer’s board and management accountable “if required.”
He also notably chastised CEO Mark Tritton for getting almost $27 million in salary over the previous two years, a figure that the investor said topped CEO remuneration for “far larger stores” such as Kohl’s and Macy’s.
Bed Bath & Beyond stated in a statement that it had “no prior communication” with RC Ventures prior to its announced investment, but that it will “seriously analyse” the letter and “[hopes] to engage constructively around the concepts put out.”
After the Monday rise, shares of Bed Bath & Beyond—one of the heavily shorted companies retail traders pushed into early last year—have nearly recovered to their closing high of $35.33 during the January 2021 meme-stock squeeze, but they’re still down more than 56% from an all-time high in late 2013.
$119.4 million in total. According to a Monday regulatory statement, that is how much Cohen’s investment business, RC Ventures, has paid to acquire about 7.8 million Bed Bath & Beyond shares (worth around $265 million) since January 13.