Berry (BERY) Announces Appointment of Three New Directors and Forms Capital Allocation Committee Following Pact with Ancora, Eminence

November 23, 2022 7:35 AM EST

Get inside Wall Street with StreetInsider Premium. Claim your 1-week free trial here.

Berry Global Group, Inc. (NYSE: BERY) (“Berry” or the “Company”), a leading supplier of packaging solutions for consumer goods and industrial products, today announced the appointments of three new independent members of the Company’s Board of Directors (the “Board”) and the formation of a Capital Allocation Committee. In connection with these enhancements, which align with Berry’s ongoing focus on Board refreshment and maintaining strong governance, the Company also entered into a mutual cooperation agreement (the “Agreement”) with shareholders Ancora Holdings Group, LLC (“Ancora”) and Eminence Capital, L.P. (“Eminence”).

As a result of Berry’s existing focus on Board refreshment efforts, the Company will appoint Meredith Harper as an independent director following the 2023 Annual Meeting of Shareholders (the “2023 Annual Meeting”). Ms. Harper is currently Senior Vice President and Chief Information Security Officer of Synchrony Financial. She will succeed Paula Sneed, who has reached Berry’s director retirement age and chosen to retire from the Board. As a result of collaboration with Ancora and Eminence, Berry has agreed to also appoint Chaney Sheffield and Peter Thomas as independent directors. Mr. Sheffield is a Partner at Canyon Partners, LLC and Mr. Thomas is the former Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of Ferro Corporation. Mr. Sheffield will join the Board immediately and Mr. Thomas will act as a non-voting observer until officially joining the Board following the 2023 Annual Meeting.

Following the 2023 Annual Meeting, Berry will expand its Board to 12 members, 11 of whom are independent.

Berry Chairman and CEO Tom Salmon said:

“We are pleased to strengthen our Board by adding Chaney, Peter and Meredith, who collectively possess a wealth of additive expertise in areas such as capital allocation, corporate governance, cybersecurity and strategic planning. On behalf of the Board, we thank Paula for her distinguished service and many contributions to the Company since joining as an independent director in March 2018. Throughout her tenure on the Board, Paula has served as a trusted leader, advisor and partner. We congratulate her on a well-deserved retirement.”

Berry Lead Independent Director Stephen E. Sterrett added:

“We appreciate the opportunity we have had to engage with a cross-section of shareholders and gather valuable input on Board composition in recent months. We are committed to appropriately refreshing our Board to complement our existing skillset in support of the Company’s flexible and disciplined capital allocation strategy, which balances growth investments, strategic portfolio management, operational discipline and return of capital to shareholders. These new independent directors will bring unique perspectives to the Berry Board as we continue to have constructive dialogue with all of our shareholders and drive value creation.”

Fredrick DiSanto, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ancora, added:

“We appreciate the productive private engagement we have had with the Board and management regarding the Board’s refreshment efforts. We believe Berry is positioned for a strong future and can drive enhanced value for all stakeholders.”

Ricky Sandler, Founder, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer at Eminence, concluded:

“We have appreciated our constructive dialogue with Berry, which has built an impressive leadership position in the packaging industry as well as an attractive and durable financial profile. We look forward to continuing to engage and support the Company’s leadership team as it executes its strategy and pursues new paths to value creation over time.”

Berry also announced the formation of a Capital Allocation Committee, which will make recommendations to the Board and support management’s review of the Company’s capital allocation strategy. The Committee will be chaired by Mr. Sheffield and will initially also include three current Board members. Mr. Thomas will be an observer of the Committee and then will assume full membership upon joining the Board.

Citi is serving as financial advisor and Latham & Watkins LLP is serving as legal counsel to Berry. Olshan Frome Wolosky LLP is serving as legal counsel to Ancora and Eminence.

About Meredith Harper

Meredith Harper has been Senior Vice President and Chief Information Security Officer of Synchrony Financial since June 2022. She leads a multi-national team responsible for Security Operations, Incident Response, Identity & Access Management, Application Security, IS Risk Management, and IS Tools & Technology. Prior to joining Synchrony Financial, Ms. Harper served as the Vice President, Chief Information Security Officer for Eli Lilly & Company from August 2018 to June 2022. Prior to joining Eli Lilly & Company, Ms. Harper served as Vice President, Chief Information Privacy & Security Officer at Henry Ford Health System from 2002 to August 2018. Ms. Harper has a B.S. in Computer Information Systems and a Masters in Health Service Administration from the University of Detroit Mercy, and a Masters of Jurisprudence in Health Law from the Loyola Chicago School of Law.

About Chaney Sheffield

Chaney Sheffield has been a Partner at Canyon Partners, LLC since 2008, overseeing billions of dollars of investment across the capital structures, public and private, of the packaging, paper, leisure, lodging and gaming sectors. He is a member of Canyon’s ESG Committee and is responsible for evaluating ESG qualifications on Canyon investments. Canyon owns approximately 2.2% of the outstanding shares of Berry. Prior to Canyon, Mr. Sheffield worked at Morgan Stanley, first in investment banking and later investing in distressed and special situation securities across the capital structure. Mr. Sheffield has a B.A. in Economics from Harvard University.

About Peter Thomas

Peter Thomas served as Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of Ferro Corporation until its sale to Prince International Corporation in 2022. Prior to that appointment, he served as the Operating Vice President of Ferro's Polymer and Ceramic Engineered Materials Group. Prior to Ferro, Mr. Thomas served in a variety of leadership roles at Witco Corporation, including Vice President of the Oleochemical-Derivatives business, Vice President of Sales and Global Market Director. He served as a director of Innophos Holdings, Inc., a leading international producer of specialty ingredient solutions for the food, health, nutrition, and industrial markets, until its acquisition by One Rock Capital Partners in 2020. Mr. Thomas has a B.S. in Chemistry and BioChemistry from Duquesne University and an M.B.A. in Finance and Marketing from Loyola University.

Serious News for Serious Traders! Try Premium Free!

You May Also Be Interested In

Related Categories

Board Changes, Corporate News, Hedge Funds, Stock Buybacks

Related Entities

Citi, Morgan Stanley, Twitter, Eminence Capital, Canyon Capital Advisors, Stock Buyback, Definitive Agreement