TOANO, Va. - Lumber Liquidators founder Thomas D. Sullivan has already abandoned his efforts to take the company private - and company shares plunged 13 percent Friday as a result.
Early September, Sullivan, who founded Lumber Liquidators in 1994 and was board chairman up through May 2015, pushed the board to consider a buyout or a merger with his other business, Cabinets To Go. Sullivan urged the company to "explore strategic options" and to seek a private buyout, as he believed a takeover represented the best chance to turn the struggling retailer around.
It appears Sullivan has given up. Sullivan told Bloomberg that although he will continue to monitor the situation, Lumber Liquidators' share price was now too high to consider a bid. On Friday, he sold nearly 80 percent of his company investments, or around 1.75 million shares. Sullivan had purchased 500,000 additional shares in early September.
Sullivan isn't happy with how Lumber Liquidators is being run. In an interview with Bloomberg, he called the board "pathetic" and said "they are spending money like crazy."
Lumber Liquidators may still turn around, but analysts expect it to take some time if it does. The company cut its outlook for the year last month, reported Bloomberg, citing uncertainty about tariffs and fewer customers.
Sullivan's other business, Cabinets To Go, retails kitchen cabinets, flooring, countertops, and installation services. Its operations include a 400,000-square-foot distribution facility in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee and more than 60 showrooms nationwide. Sullivan founded the company in 2008.
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