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Larry Thomas

Dissident Sealy shareholder to withhold votes for directors

ARCHDALE, N.C. — Sealy shareholder H Partners Management, who has been publicly pushing for changes to the company's board of directors, said it will withhold its votes for all nine directors at Sealy's annual meeting next week.

H Partners, which owns 15.3% of the bedding producer's stock, said the directors "must be held accountable for overseeing significant value destruction."

"We seek change that will benefit all stockholders," said Usman Nabi, a partner in H Partners. "H Partners has an excellent track record of collaborating with boards and management teams to achieve strong results, and is eager to work constructively with the board to restore Sealy to its former greatness."

The company's annual meeting begins at 9 a.m. Wednesday at the Grandover Resort in Greensboro, N.C.

H Partners contends that the investment firm KKR & Co., which owns more than 40% of Sealy's shares, exerts too much influence and argues that most board members have past or present ties to KKR.

Sealy went public in 2006 at $16 per share, and its stock price recently was trading around $2 per share.

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