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Ryan Cohen sells entire stake in Bed Bath & Beyond

·Senior Markets Editor
·3 min read

GameStop chairman Ryan Cohen has sold his entire position in Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY), a filing with the SEC on Thursday revealed.

Cohen had owned stock and options representing over 9.4 million shares of the retailer, or 11.8% of the company.

In addition to news Cohen sold his stake in Bed, Bath & Beyond, Bloomberg reported late Thursday the company has hired law firm Kirkland & Ellis to address its swelling debt load.

Shares of Bed Bath & Beyond were down as much as 34% in after-hours trading following this news.

The confirmation of Cohen's sale comes just a day after Cohen's RC Ventures filed a Form 144 with the Securities and Exchange Commission outlining plans to unload the stake. Bed Bath & Beyond shares fell more than 19% on Wednesday.

Cohen's filing with the SEC on Thursday revealed the position was sold down during Tuesday and Wednesday's trading sessions.

Ryan Cohen's RC Ventures exited its position in Bed Bath & Beyond over the course of Tuesday and Wednesday's trading sessions. (Source: SEC)
Ryan Cohen's RC Ventures exited its position in Bed Bath & Beyond over the course of Tuesday and Wednesday's trading sessions. (Source: SEC)

According to RC Ventures' Form 144 filing, Cohen's position in Bed, Bath & Beyond was worth more than $148 million as of Monday, Aug. 15. Shares of Bed Bath & Beyond gained over 50% between Monday and Wednesday's market close this week.

Cohen initially disclosed a 9.8% stake in the company back in March, saying in a filing at the time he planned to engage with the board on strategic alternatives, including a possible spin-off of the company's buybuy Baby brand.

Cohen, who co-founded online pet product retailer Chewy (CHWY) back in 2011, has become a darling of the meme stock market given his involvement at GameStop (GME), where he now serves as chairman of the board.

As of March 2022, RC Ventures held an 11.9% stake in the video game retailer.

Cohen's 13D filing back in March showed the Chewy co-founder spent just under $120 million acquiring shares of the company and another $1.8 million call options, indicating the average purchase price was around $15.30 per share; Thursday's filing shows the bulk of Cohen's sales took place in the low $20s.

In the intervening months, Bed Bath & Beyond added three Cohen-backed appointees to its board and replaced CEO Mark Tritton. Notably, Cohen himself did not join the company's board, and his agreement with the company did not place any restrictions on divesting his position in the company.

Bed Bath & Beyond released a statement on Thursday morning, before Cohen revealed that he'd exited his stake: "We were pleased to have reached a constructive agreement with RC Ventures in March and are committed to maximizing value for all shareholders."

In its most recent quarterly report, Bed Bath & Beyond revealed a 27% decline in same-store sales at its namesake stores, with same-store sales at buybuy Baby falling by "mid-single digits."

Speaking with Yahoo Finance Live on Thursday, UBS analyst Michael Lasser reiterated his view that the company remains "very challenged." Lasser has a Sell rating and $3.50 price target on shares of Bed Bath & Beyond.

"The stock has been disconnected from the fundamentals," Lasser said. "It has been due to flows in the market and noise. As the stock becomes re-coupled with what's actually happening at the company, there is going to be significant downside."

Cohen's sale comes as intrigue around recent action in Bed Bath & Beyond shares has grown, with the Financial Times reporting on Wednesday that a 20-year-old college student from New Jersey cashed in $110 million during Bed Bath & Beyond's recent rally. The student, Jake Freeman, told the FT he raised $25 million from friends and family, put it all on Bed Bath & Beyond, sent the company a letter demanding it fix its capital structure, and then cashed out.

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