Nautica Enterprises, Inc. (Nasdaq: NAUT) said today that it strongly disagrees with the conclusions reached by Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), a proxy advisory firm. The Company reaffirmed its view that the best interests of all of its stockholders would be served by re-electing the entire eight-member Board of Directors at the Company's Annual Meeting on July 8, 2003.
Nautica pointed out that in contrast to the records of the Barington Group's nominees, the two directors challenged by Barington bring important experience and credentials to the Board: Charles Scherer, who has been a director at Nautica Enterprises since 1994, previously served as general counsel and then chief financial officer for Collins & Aikman, one of the world's largest textile manufacturers; and John Varvatos, an apparel designer and merchant with over 20 years of experience in the industry, is one of the most highly regarded men's wear designers in the field today.
Nautica noted that neither of the Barington Group's two dissident nominees, James A. Mitarotonda and William J. Fox, has indicated experience in the apparel manufacturing industry or any related industry. The dissident group, which first purchased shares in Nautica Enterprises only on April 17, 2003 through entities based in the Cayman Islands and Nevada, has a history of short-term strikes at unrelated microcap companies and has no discernible track record for building sustained stockholder value. Moreover, the Company believes that the election of dissident nominees to its Board would be disruptive and would detract from the Company's efforts to maximize shareholder value.
Nautica Enterprises continues to urge all stockholders to reject Barington's proxy solicitation, the Barington nominees and the other Barington proposal, and by signing, dating, and returning the WHITE proxy card to elect the company's entire eight-member board. Stockholders who have any questions about the proxy solicitation or need additional information about the Nautica Enterprises stockholders' meeting should contact MacKenzie Partners, Inc., 105 Madison Avenue, New York, New York 10016, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nautica Enterprises, Inc. (Nasdaq: NAUT), through its subsidiaries, designs, sources, markets and distributes apparel under the following
brands: Nautica; Nautica Competition; Nautica Jeans Company; Earl Jean; John Varvatos; E. Magrath; and Byron Nelson. For more information about our Company, please visit our website at www.nautica.com