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HoldCo Asset Management Calls for Greater Transparency From Berkshire Hills’ Board Around Strategy and Exploration of Strategic Alternatives

·4 min read

Deeply Concerned About Bank’s Persistent Destruction of Shareholder Value and High Level of CEO Turnover

HoldCo Asset Management, LP and its managed funds (collectively, "HoldCo") own 1,672,679 shares of common stock of Berkshire Hills Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ: BHLB) ("BHLB" or the "Company"), representing approximately 3.3% of the Company’s outstanding shares.

Today HoldCo sent a letter (the "Letter") to James Williar "Bill" Dunlaevy, Independent Chairman of the Board, in which we demanded full transparency regarding the process undertaken by the BHLB Board of Directors (the "Board") that resulted in the hiring of yet another CEO – the fourth in less than three years – instead of pursuing other strategic alternatives including a sale or merger. The Letter to Mr. Dunlaevy can be accessed using the following link:

http://www.holdcoam.com/wp-content/uploads/Letter_to_BHLB.pdf

Among other concerns, the Letter highlights BHLB’s revolving door of senior leadership, as well as the Board’s history of value destruction, apparent unwillingness to return excess capital to shareholders, lack of transparency with respect to key decisions and unfitness to guide the Company through today’s challenging operating environment. HoldCo calls on the Board to explain what process it undertook in connection with its CEO hire, what its plans are going forward and whether it actively explored a sale of BHLB. In the absence of an acceptable response, HoldCo will consider all options including exercising its rights as a shareholder at the next annual meeting of shareholders.

About HoldCo Asset Management

HoldCo Asset Management, LP is an investment adviser located in New York City. HoldCo was founded by Vik Ghei and Misha Zaitzeff. HoldCo currently has over $900 million in regulatory assets under management.

Disclaimer

This press release and the Letter (collectively, the "HoldCo Materials") are for discussion and general informational purposes only. The HoldCo Materials are not investment advice, an investment recommendation, or an offer to buy or sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any securities, including without limitation any interests in a fund managed by and/or associated with HoldCo.

The views of HoldCo contained in the HoldCo Materials are based on publicly available information with respect to Berkshire Hills and certain other companies discussed in the HoldCo Materials. HoldCo recognizes that there may be nonpublic information in the possession of BHLB or others that could lead BHLB and others to disagree with HoldCo’s analyses, conclusions or opinions.

Certain financial or other information and data used in the HoldCo Materials have been obtained or derived from public filings, HoldCo’s internal estimates and research, industry and general publications, research conducted by third parties and other sources. The HoldCo Materials contain excerpts of notes by a HoldCo employee that should not be interpreted as verbatim transcriptions of any conversations. These notes are incomplete, may contain inadvertent errors and/or omissions, and should not be relied upon for any purposes.

HoldCo has not sought or obtained consent from any third parties to use any statements or information indicated in the HoldCo Materials as having been obtained or derived from statements made or published by third parties. Any such statements or information attributed to a third party should not be viewed as indicating the support of such third party for the views expressed in the HoldCo Materials. No agreement, arrangement, commitment or understanding exists or shall be deemed to exist between HoldCo and any third party by virtue of using such statements or information or furnishing the HoldCo Materials.

Except for the historical information contained in the HoldCo Materials, the matters addressed in the HoldCo Materials are forward-looking statements that involve certain risks and uncertainties. You should be aware that actual results may differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements. HoldCo may change any of its opinions expressed in the HoldCo Materials at any time, and HoldCo is under no obligation to update any information, opinions or statements contained in the HoldCo Materials.

None of HoldCo, its affiliates or their respective directors, officers, employees, shareholders, members, partners, managers or advisors shall be responsible or have any liability to any person in relation to the distribution or possession of the HoldCo Materials in any jurisdiction. No warranty is made that any data or information in the HoldCo Materials is accurate. None of HoldCo, its affiliates or their respective directors, officers, employees, shareholders, members, partners, managers or advisors shall be responsible or have any liability for any misinformation, errors or omissions contained in the HoldCo Materials.

A fund managed by HoldCo has invested in the securities of BHLB and consequently has an economic interest in the price of these securities. HoldCo may increase, decrease or hedge such investment in BHLB, or otherwise change the form of such investment in BHLB, for any or no reason at any time. HoldCo disclaims any duty to provide updates or changes to the manner or type of any investment in BHLB or other company.

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210208005745/en/

Contacts

Vik Ghei, member of the general partner
vik@holdcoam.com
Misha Zaitzeff, member of the general partner
misha@holdcoam.com