Berry Global Group, Inc., a leading supplier of packaging solutions for consumer goods and industrial products, has announced the appointments of three new independent members of the Company’s Board of Directors (the “Board”) and the formation of a Capital Allocation Committee.
In connection with these enhancements, which align with Berry’s ongoing focus on Board refreshment and maintaining strong governance, the Company also entered into a mutual cooperation agreement (the “Agreement”) with shareholders Ancora Holdings Group, LLC (“Ancora”) and Eminence Capital, L.P. (“Eminence”).
As a result of Berry’s existing focus on Board refreshment efforts, the Company will appoint Meredith Harper as an independent director following the 2023 Annual Meeting of Shareholders (the “2023 Annual Meeting”). Ms. Harper is currently Senior Vice President and Chief Information Security Officer of Synchrony Financial. She will succeed Paula Sneed, who has reached Berry’s director retirement age and chosen to retire from the Board. As a result of collaboration with Ancora and Eminence, Berry Global has agreed to also appoint Chaney Sheffield and Peter Thomas as independent directors. Mr. Sheffield is a Partner at Canyon Partners, LLC and Mr. Thomas is the former Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of Ferro Corporation. Mr. Sheffield will join the Board immediately and Mr. Thomas will act as a non-voting observer until officially joining the Board following the 2023 Annual Meeting.
Berry Global Chairman and CEO Tom Salmon said: “We are pleased to strengthen our Board by adding Chaney, Peter and Meredith, who collectively possess a wealth of additive expertise in areas such as capital allocation, corporate governance, cybersecurity and strategic planning. On behalf of the Board, we thank Paula for her distinguished service and many contributions to the Company since joining as an independent director in March 2018. Throughout her tenure on the Board, Paula has served as a trusted leader, advisor and partner. We congratulate her on a well-deserved retirement.”
Berry Global Lead Independent Director Stephen E. Sterrett added: “We appreciate the opportunity we have had to engage with a cross-section of shareholders and gather valuable input on Board composition in recent months. We are committed to appropriately refreshing our Board to complement our existing skillset in support of the Company’s flexible and disciplined capital allocation strategy, which balances growth investments, strategic portfolio management, operational discipline and return of capital to shareholders. These new independent directors will bring unique perspectives to the Berry Board as we continue to have constructive dialogue with all of our shareholders and drive value creation.”
Fredrick DiSanto, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ancora, added: “We appreciate the productive private engagement we have had with the Board and management regarding the Board’s refreshment efforts. We believe Berry is positioned for a strong future and can drive enhanced value for all stakeholders.”
Ricky Sandler, Founder, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer at Eminence, concluded: “We have appreciated our constructive dialogue with Berry, which has built an impressive leadership position in the packaging industry as well as an attractive and durable financial profile. We look forward to continuing to engage and support the Company’s leadership team as it executes its strategy and pursues new paths to value creation over time.”
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Berry also announced the formation of a Capital Allocation Committee, which will make recommendations to the Board and support management’s review of the Company’s capital allocation strategy. The Committee will be chaired by Mr. Sheffield and will initially also include three current Board members. Mr. Thomas will be an observer of the Committee and then will assume full membership upon joining the Board.