Billionaire investor Ryan Cohen beats Mattress Bathtub & Past shareholder lawsuit

By Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The billionaire activist investor Ryan Cohen gained the dismissal on Tuesday of a shareholder lawsuit accusing him of profitably cashing out of Mattress Bathtub & Past shares too shortly as the house items retailer was hurtling towards chapter.

U.S. District Decide Dale Ho in Manhattan mentioned two former Mattress Bathtub & Past shareholders couldn’t drive Cohen to return earnings from promoting his estimated 11% stake as a result of the retailer’s subsequent chapter mooted their claims.

The shareholders sued Cohen underneath a federal legislation requiring company insiders together with massive shareholders to surrender “short-swing” earnings from shopping for and promoting an organization’s inventory in a six-month interval, with sums being returned to the corporate.

Cohen based on-line pet provides retailer Chewy and is now chief government of online game retailer GameStop.

He turned generally known as “meme king” to extraordinary traders who drove the early 2021 meme inventory craze, usually in on-line boards. Forbes journal estimates his fortune at $4.2 billion.

Lee Squitieri, a lawyer for the shareholders, declined instant remark, saying he was reviewing the choice. Cohen, by means of his lawyer Dave Wollmuth, declined to remark.

Cohen revealed a 9.8% stake in Mattress Bathtub & Past in March 2022 and pushed for modifications that would come with new administrators and exploring a sale of the Purchase Purchase Child model.

He angered different shareholders by abruptly promoting his stake, whose share had grown due to inventory buybacks, 5 months later for an estimated $60 million revenue.

Mattress Bathtub filed for chapter in April 2023, and its frequent shares had been canceled when its Chapter 11 plan turned efficient in September.

Ho mentioned the plaintiff shareholders, Todd Augenbaum and Judith Cohen, had standing to sue when the lawsuit started in October 2022, however that was now not true.

He rejected arguments that they nonetheless had a monetary stake as a result of they’d purchased inventory in a Mattress Bathtub & Past creditor, might have collected incentive awards or lawyer’s charges, and deserved reimbursement for his or her canceled inventory.

The case is In re Mattress Bathtub & Past Inc Part 16(b) Litigation, U.S. District Courtroom, Southern District of New York, No. 22-09327.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Enhancing by Lisa Shumaker)

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