Lumber Liquidators Holdings, Inc. (NYSE Trading Symbol: LL, $32.73) appears to have heard and acted upon concerns about Ray Cotton. asensio.com’s comments were purposefully harsh and severe. asensio.com has zero tolenrance for officers of American public company that expose their American shareholders to embarrassment. The Ray Cotton personal website has been taken down. The Ray Cotton LinkedIn account that contained his questionable board member claim was also taken down. I trust LL understands that asensio.com’s statements were meant to be constructive and to defuse the possibility that CBS 60 Minutes would make a mountain out of the silly Ray Cotton molehill. It was meant eliminate distractions.
Asensio.com, with due caution and respect, must note that Ray Cotton’s misconduct was serious and not just tastelessly adolescent and frivolous. asensio.com is understanding of the timing issues and is confident that Mr. Cotton is under control. However, asensio.com cannot turn a blind eye on the seriousness of the matter.
Mr. Cotton’s statements in the Risk & Compliance Journal in December 2014 unfortunately conflict with the statements made by its founder Tom Sullivan to Forbes last night.
It is obvious to asensio.com that Mr. Cotton is simply sophomoric and unaware. No American company should expose its American business and American shareholders to this type of management.
We are the Pioneers of Activist Short Selling and have the most experience and the longest and the most transparent and successful track record in the business. We have no reason to doubt Mr. Sullivan and no reason to doubt Mr. Cotton. We are engaged in process of making an investment determination.
In Forbes Mr. Sullivan stated that in “China [LL has] more than doubled our financial commitment – from $1.8 million in 2011, to $4.8 million last year” to compliance, that LL has “reduced the percentage of laminate we source from China by more than 50% over the past three years,” and “invest in, install and operate a lab with these emission-testing capabilities” and reduce to “15% of our total product inventory is laminate produced in China.” All of these things were in asensio.com’s view were dare we say maliciously lost on CBS 60 Minutes in the Un-American attack on this American company. But they were also lost on Mr. Cotton.
Ray Cotton told the Risk& Compliance Journal in December 2014 conflict that he “had a compliance team being built in China as we speak.” With childlike amazement Mr. Cotton said LL “actually had to engage a search firm out of Hong Kong….and its taken months.”
In the RCJ article Mr. Cotton claimed that he would take direct calls and meetings from interested parties. Yet he didn’t return asensio.com’s attempts to get answers. asensio.com’s founder, Manuel P. Asensio, contacted Mr. Cotton directly on LinkedIn and provided him with two direct dial telephone numbers. Mr. Cotton did not reply.
We are confident that LL will attend to this matter with the same fortitude that it attend to Mr. Cotton’s personal website and LinkedIn accounts.