Privet Fund Management LLC’s Ben Rosenzweig says he is “very cognizant” of how the coronavirus is impacting the world right now.
However, in an interview with The Deal for its Activist Investing Today podcast, Rosenzweig said he is not backing down from a change-of-control director contest he has underway at metals and specialty chemical company Synalloy Corp. (SYNL) because “good leadership right now is more important than ever.”
Rosenzweig has partnered with UPG Enterprises LLC, a holding company that owns metals and distribution businesses, and is seeking to take over Synalloy’s eight-member board and replace its management team. The fund, which made unsuccessful unsolicited bids to buy the business last year, wants to make “drastic” changes to Synalloy’s C-suite.
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“If you can’t drive results and effectively manage a company during a period, when you are talking about the past decade, that might ultimately go down as one of the greatest decades of economic expansion that most people have lived through, why should shareholders want the current team to lead the company through a pandemic situation when we have absolutely no ideas how long this period will last?” Rosenzweig said.
Rosenzweig also explained why Privet, which formed in 2007 and targets small-cap companies, doesn’t want to buy Synalloy now. Finally, he talked about Privet’s partnership with an operating company for the campaign and his thesis that there could be “fantastic opportunities” that emerge when the volatility subsides.
Here’s the podcast: