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Ethan Allen Pressured to Sell By Activist Shareholder


The Ethan Allen furniture company is under pressure from one of its investors to either sell itself or divest some of its real estate assets. Sandell Asset Management, which owns 5.5 percent of Ethan Allen, said the company's stock is underperforming. 

Sandell's founder, Thomas Sandell, has written to the CEO of Ethan Allen, Farooq Kathwari, saying the Danbury-based company should consider a sale to a private equity firm. He said the stock, which has been trading for about $31, should be worth at least a third more.

All the seats on Ethan Allen's board are up for re-election at a shareholding meeting this fall. That leaves the company vulnerable to losing control if Sandell decides to nominate his own slate of directors.

Kathwari himself owns about ten percent of Ethan Allen's stock. He took the company public in the late 1980s when he took over as CEO.