Target shareholder broadens his criticism of directors

Target shareholder William Ackman has been on a crusade to persuade the retailer to spin off its real-estate holdings into a separate company. Now, the activist investor is criticizing the company’s ability to compete in the grocery business.

The Associated Press reports that Ackman has sent another letter to Target shareholders, accusing the company of being insular and ill equipped to challenge Wal-Mart in the food business.

“We strongly believe that the board does not have sufficient food retailing expertise to advise, guide or challenge management on the company’s grocery expansion strategies. In our view, these are all strategic missteps for which we hold the incumbent board of directors accountable,” Ackman wrote.

One of the five candidates Ackman is hoping to elect to the board is James Donald, a former Starbucks CEO and grocery industry veteran who helped launch Wal-Mart’s grocery division. Target shareholders will vote May 28 at the company’s annual meeting.

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