At Home Group's largest shareholder opposes sale of retailer

May 16, 2021 6:16 PM EDT

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(Reuters) -The largest shareholder of At Home Group Inc said it intends to vote against the deal to take the U.S. retailer private at $36 per share, according to a letter obtained by Reuters.

CAS Investment Partners in a letter to At Home's board of directors on Sunday said that it plans to vote against a $2.8 billion sale of the retailer to private-equity firm Hellman & Friedman.

CAS holds about 17% of the retailer's shares.

The shareholder believes the current deal to sell At Home for $36 per share "grossly undervalues the company and deprives stockholders of anything resembling a fair premium", the letter said, adding that it expects to contend for a more realistic valuation at $70 per share or more.

At Home did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Wall Street Journal first reported that CAS plans to oppose the deal to sell the retailer at $36 per share.

The move comes as hedge fund Honest Capital said on Tuesday that it opposes the deal between At Home and Hellman & Friedman, even as the U.S. home goods retailer searches for a higher bid.

Honest Capital wrote to the company's board of directors to argue the $36-per-share all-cash deal was too low a valuation for At Home, given that it has plans to more than double its number of stores to 600 and consumers have more cash to spruce up their decor.

Earlier this month, At Home Group said that Hellman & Friedman will take the company private in a deal valued at $2.8 billion, at a time when demand for home decor and home-furnishing products is booming.

(Reporting by Nandakumar D and Radhika Anilkumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Diane Craft)



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