Barington Capital Takes Stake in Xerium, Nominates Board Members

(Bloomberg) -- Activist investor Barington Capital Group disclosed a stake in Xerium Technologies Inc. and nominated two directors to the company’s board.

The New York-based hedge fund, run by James Mitarotonda, said in a filing Thursday it owns about 5 percent of Xerium. It urged the company to explore a sale or strategic transaction that would allow Xerium to refinance its $480 million of senior notes.

Barington has met with Xerium’s chairman, and would like to continue to hold discussions with the company on matters including its governance, cost structure and indebtedness, the filing shows.

Xerium, which manufactures and supplies products used to make paper, announced plans for a strategic review last month, six days after Barington sent its nomination letter to the board, according to Thursday’s filing. In a meeting a day after the review was revealed, Barington said it hoped the move wasn’t a defensive measure in response to its letter.

Barington has a history of investing in industrial companies that eventually get sold, including A. Schulman Inc., where it won board representation in 2005. LyondellBasell Industries NV agreed in February to buy Schulman in a deal valued at $2.25 billion including debt.

Barington also reached an agreement last month with Avon Products Inc. that will see Mitarotonda nominated to the cosmetics company’s board.

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