More shareholder drama ahead of Smith & Wesson annual meeting
By Christen Smith
A Smith & Wesson proxy adviser raised questions over the company’s board nominees and donations to industry groups last week, prompting a lengthy defense from the gun maker ahead of its annual meeting later this month.
Parent company American Outdoor Brands defended its actions in a regulatory filing published Thursday, telling Glass, Lewis and Co. its concerns were unfounded and called its support for a gun safety report “disappointing.”
“In making that recommendation, Glass Lewis concedes that the issues are difficult and ‘sensitive’ and that the ‘Company should act in the best long-term interests of its shareholders,’” the gun maker writes in its filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, insisting the report will destroy shareholder value for the benefit of a few, anti-gun special interest groups.
Smith & Wesson also defended its nominee, Mitchell Saltz, saying his role on the board of VirTra Systems, a company specializing in virtual reality gun training simulators, doesn’t pose a conflict of interest.
Glass, Lewis and Co. advised other shareholders to reject Saltz and four other nominees in a letter sent Tuesday after the former “inadvertently omitted” his connection to VirTra. The advisory firm — in what Reuters reported as an “unusual” step — changed its recommendation