Newell Brands Updates on Agreement with Starboard to End Proxy Contest

Newell Brands reported that it has entered into an agreement with Starboard Value to end its current proxy contest.

According to a media release, as part of the agreement, the Board of Directors has appointed two new independent directors, Gerardo I. Lopez and Robert A. Steele, effective immediately. Additionally, the company intends to nominate Bridget Ryan Berman from Starboard's slate, who has been mutually-agreed upon by Starboard and Carl C. Icahn, Chairman of Icahn Enterprises (IEP), for election to the Board of Directors at the company's 2018 Annual Meeting of Shareholders. In connection with the director appointments, Andrew Langham has agreed to step down from the Board, effective immediately and David Atchison will not stand for election.

"We are pleased to welcome Gerry and Robert to the Newell Brands Board of Directors and Bridget's nomination to the Board as well," said Patrick Campbell, Chairman of the Board of Directors. "They each bring highly-relevant, industry experience and perspectives, and we look forward to benefiting from their insights. We also greatly appreciate Carl Icahn's willingness to amend our agreement, and the willingness of his appointees, Messrs. Langham and Atchison, to step down. This Board will continue to take the necessary actions to enhance performance and create value for Newell Brands shareholders."

"This agreement will enable the Company to now focus exclusively on the execution of our transformation plans and our efforts to strengthen our financial and operational performance," said Michael Polk, Chief Executive Officer of Newell Brands. "We have listened to and agreed with our shareholders' desire to see this campaign reach a constructive resolution. We believe the steps we've taken to expand our transformation plan with the support and input of Carl Icahn is the right path to significant value creation and to a simpler, stronger and faster Newell Brands. I look forward to working with our Board of Directors to execute our plan and deliver results for shareholders."

Carl C. Icahn, Chairman of Icahn Enterprises, L.P. commented, "The Company reached out to us and requested that we give up two board seats to avoid a potentially disruptive proxy fight, which could have been especially bad at this important time for the Company. We spoke to Jeff Smith and determined we both have similar goals and objectives to enhance shareholder value, and we therefore agreed to give up two of our seats to avoid a damaging proxy fight. I am pleased that we were able to facilitate peace between the Company and Starboard. Given that the Company has so many more pressing priorities, this is clearly the best outcome for all shareholders. Newell has a great future and we look forward to working with the Board, management team and Starboard."

Jeff Smith, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer of Starboard said, "Newell is a great company with solid assets and a significant opportunity to drive operational improvements to increase earnings, cash flow, and create shareholder value. Following the 2018 Annual Meeting, 9 of the 12 directors will be new to the Board, and we are confident this newly reconstituted Board will bring a refreshed sense of urgency, oversight, and accountability to Newell. We are pleased to have worked constructively with Newell and Carl Icahn to resolve this election contest and look forward to seeing significantly improved results and shareholder value creation over the coming months and years."

Steele will be appointed to the Company's Finance Committee, which will be chaired by Courtney Mather and will oversee the company's financial matters, including divestitures contemplated by the company's transformation plan, and make recommendations to the Board regarding such topics.

With these immediate changes, and the expected election of Ryan Berman, in addition to Judith Sprieser, at the 2018 Annual Meeting, Newell Brand's Board will be expanded to comprise 12 highly qualified and experienced directors, 11 of whom will be independent and all of whom will be experienced leaders.

Ryan Berman and Sprieser, whom the Company previously announced its intent to nominate for election, will serve as Board observers until their election at the 2018 Annual Meeting.

Pursuant to the Agreement, Starboard has agreed to withdraw its slate of directors and vote all of its shares in favor of the Newell Brands nominees at the 2018 Annual Meeting of Shareholders. This agreement will be filed on a Form 8-K with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

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  • Alexandra Scarborough
    Gilt and Sarah Jessica Parker Unveil SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker Bridal Collection for Spring

    Sarah Jessica Parker, in partnership with Gilt, kicked off the exclusive launch of SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker Bridal, Gilt’s first foray into bridal ready-to-wear that would have Carrie Bradshaw swooning.

    The collection includes dresses, skirts, bodysuits and other pieces, ranging in price from $295 to $2,395 and from sizes 0 to 14.

    "Collaborating with Gilt on my first bridal ready-to-wear collection was an opportunity I couldn't pass up," said Sarah Jessica Parker. "The team there is brilliant and allowed me to be imaginative and take risks as I was designing for the non-traditional bride. It has been quite fun to play around with colors, fabrics and details to create unique pieces for all kinds of brides." The collection, comprised of ten styles, is inspired by Parker's vision of a modern, non-traditional bride, and is designed to dress a woman for a variety of wedding milestone moments; from her bridal shower through her wedding reception. Styles offered are a unique mix of classic dresses and gowns, modern bodysuits, full skirts, and a jumpsuit. The color palette includes traditional bridal white, sleek black, plus pops of blush, poppy, light gray and blue.

    Designed in collaboration with Gilt, the collection was produced in New York City utilizing fabrics like cashmere and stretch crepe sourced from Spain, Italy and France.

    The pieces all feature carefully curated details like elegant bows, sophisticated cutouts, feathers, intricate embroidery and beautiful hand-stitched beading. 

    The actress and style icon is no stranger to chic bridal wear. Carrie Badshaw, famously played by Parker, took part in an elaborate bridal photo shoot in Sex and the City: The Movie. The shoot featured gowns from designers like Christian Lacroix and Lanvin. Parker famously wore a black wedding gown for her own wedding to Matthew Broderick in 1997.

    "Not only is Sarah Jessica Parker's style known around the world, her point of view is one-of-a-kind," says Tom Ott, Chief Merchant of Gilt. "Sarah Jessica brings her impeccable taste and fashion sensibility to life in this collection. We think our customers will be delighted with the offering which is stylish and well-priced in the bridal category."

    As part of the bridal launch, Gilt will also offer 15 exclusive styles from the SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker footwear line, each of which are complementary to the bridal collection. 

    To correspond with the bridal collection launch, Gilt City will present offers from some of Sarah Jessica Parker's favorite places in New York City.

    The offers were each chosen as a way to help brides plan for and celebrate the big day with highlights including, Leather Spa, Lars Nord Studio Tailoring, Mah-Ze-Dahr Bakery, among others.

    More Information:

  • Alexandra Scarborough
    Tea Forté Introduces ‘Matcha’ Collection

    Convenience meets tradition in Tea Forté’s new Ceremonial Matcha Bowl Set and the Matcha Single Steeps.

    The company said its spring harvested, shade grown, stone ground, organic matcha tea is best served in a centuries-old Japanese tea ceremony called chanoyu: a preparation technique known for its centering meditative qualities.

    "The launch of Tea Forté's Matcha collection represents our continued commitment to wellness and cultivating all the potential mental and physical health benefits of tea," says Tea Forté CEO Michael Gebrael. "In addition to our high quality Pure Matcha, we've also blended four distinct flavored Matcha varieties. Prepackaged in pouches measured out for a single serving, our Single Steeps Matcha is ideal for the office, travel, or to keep with you for a boost anytime."

    Tea Forté noted its handcrafted ceremonial tea bowl, handmade bamboo whisk and measuring ladle “encourages serene enjoyment of our premium Kosher, gluten-free and vegan matcha blends.” These include: Pure Matcha, Chocolate Matcha, Coconut Matcha, Ginger Matcha, and Chai Matcha.

    According to a release, in addition to its distinctive taste, matcha is prized for its health benefits. Steeped green tea contains only the antioxidants that can be extracted in water, while with matcha, the whole leaf is consumed.

    Available now in select stores and online at



QUICK 5 has released a year-end look at U.S. traveler behavior and trends for 2017, analyzing data to identify the most in-demand destinations, hotels, activities and more.

Among other insights, the roundup revealed:

  1. Labor Day was the busiest weekend for car rental
  2. Disney Theme Parks topped the list of things to do
  3. The average hotel stay was two nights
  4. Top destinations based on 2017 air travel included major global cities like New York, London and Bangkok
  5. Popular tourist destinations included Orlando, Cancun and Las Vegas