Bed, Bath & Beyond (BBBY) shares were marked sharply lower Tuesday following a weekend tragedy that took the life of its recently-appointed CFO Gustavo Arnal.
Arnal fell to his death from a high floor of a Manhattan skyscraper known as the Jenga Tower on Friday evening, police confirmed Sunday, with the New York City Medical Examiner’s office determining the cause of death as suicide the following day.
Arnal, 52, joined Bed, Bath & Beyond in 2020, following stints with Procter & Gamble (PG) and Avon, and was named in a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia that alleged he had regulated the sale of Bed, Bath & Beyond stock for company executives, and conspired to keep prices inflated.
“I wish to extend our sincerest condolences to Gustavo’s family. Gustavo will be remembered by all he worked with for his leadership, talent and stewardship of our Company. I am proud to have been his colleague, and he will be truly missed by all of us at and everyone who had the pleasure of knowing him,” said Harriet Edelman, who chairs the group’s board of directors. “Our focus is on supporting his family and his team and our thoughts are with them during this sad and difficult time. Please join us in respecting the family’s privacy.”
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Bed, Bath & Beyond shares were marked 16% lower in pre-market trading to indicate an opening bell price of $7.25 each.
Last week, the struggling home retailer said it plans to raise an undisclosed amount of capital from the sale of common stock as it moves to capitalize on a 140% surge in the company’s share price over the past month while adding to its thinning overall liquidity.
The group also unveiled a new $500 million loan agreement, as well as plans to close around 150 stores and slash overall expenses to around $250 million, as part of its closely-tracked turnaround plans under interim CEO Sue Gove.
Shares in the group had rallied around 350% from their mid-June lows amid a resurgence in interest from retail investors, but plunged more than 40% over the month of August as activist investor Ryan Cohen dumped his entire stake in the group, netting around $60 million from the Reddit-powered rally.
Securities & Exchange Commission filings suggest Arnal sold around 55,000 shares between August 16 and August 17, just one day before Cohen’s first sale of 5 million shares was made public on August 18. The stock fell 40.5% on August 19.