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Wet Seal urges shareholders not to support activist’s plans to replace directors


Foothill Ranch, Calif. -- On the heels of activist investor The Clinton Group’s announced plans to replace some of Wet Seal’s board members, the retailer is advising its shareholders against supporting the move.

On Friday, Clinton Group revealed in an SEC filing that it planned to nominate a slate of new Wet Seal board members including Raphael Benaroya, Dorrit Bern, Mindy Meads and John Mills. Benaroya is the former chairman of FAO Schwartz, Bern is the former CEO of Charming Shoppes, Meads is the former president and co-CEO of Aeropostale and Mills is the former president and COO of Aeropostale.

The investor has made no secret of its dissatisfaction with Wet Seal’s performance and has urged the company to put itself up for sale.

On Monday, Wet Seal sent a letter to shareholders revealing that Clinton Group has rejected its proposal to allow two additional directors that were nominated by Clinton Group join Wet Seal's board and let someone from Clinton Group help with the retailer's search for a CEO.

Wet Seal fired CEO Susan McGalla in July without naming a replacement. The retailer says it is working with recruiter Korn/Ferry International to find a replacement CEO and expects to fill the post soon.

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