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From Home Furnishing Business

Ethan Allen Shareholders Approve Company Nominated Directors

Shareholders of Ethan Allen (NYSE: ETH) elected the seven directors nominated by the company, staving off the effort of Sandell Asset Management Corp., an activist investor, to take control of the furniture company's board.

The preliminary vote count show that the shareholders voted to elect all of Ethan Allen's director nominees: James B. Carlson, Clinton A. Clark, John J. Dooner, Jr., Domenick J. Esposito, M. Farooq Kathwari, chairman, president and CEO, James W. Schmotter and Tara I. Stacom.

Official results from the vote are expected next week.

Sandell, which owns a 5.5 percent stake in the company, had proposed six candidates for the seven-member board of Ethan Allen. The group had argued that Kathwari needed a more assertive board to revive sluggish earnings growth and market share losses.

Sandell said it would “maintain an intense level of scrutiny on Ethan Allen's operating results and will monitor what, if any, steps are taken by the board to increase shareholder value." 

In a statement, Ethan Allen said the results validate the company’s strategy. The vote confirms “the confidence our stockholders have in our transformation strategy and vision for growth and underscore their recognition of the strength and expertise of our board and management team to create compelling opportunities for continued performance.”

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