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Jay McIntosh

Third shareholder, Altai Capital, joins in criticism of Sealy

NEW YORK — A third Sealy shareholder, Altai Capital, has joined in the criticism of the mattress maker's management and private equity firm KKR & Co.'s influence over the company's board.

Altai Capital said in a letter to Sealy, which Altai disclosed in a press release, that it supported shareholder H Partners' efforts to have some influence over the selection of Sealy's next CEO to replace Larry Rogers, who has announced his retirement.

Altai said it owns 3.9% of Sealy's shares. H Partners, which owns about 15.3%, and FPR Partners, which owns about 7.7%, had earlier sent similar letters to Sealy.

In response, Sealy said the majority of its board members meet the New York Stock Exchange definition of "independent," and said that KKR had been "a responsible partner" of the company. KKR is the largest shareholder with about a 46.2% stake.

In a letter from Rishi Bajaj, its managing partner, Altai Capital said, "We have followed Sealy for a number of years and have great respect and admiration for its brand and market share. We believe, however, that Sealy management has overseen a series of strategic missteps," many of which were highlighted in the H Partners letter.

Sealy's annual shareholders meeting is set for Wednesday at the Grandover Resort in Greensboro, N.C.

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