U.S. cruise line company Lindblad names directors backed by ValueAct to its board

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BOSTON (Reuters) – Lindblad Expeditions on Thursday said it named two independent directors backed by activist investment firm ValueAct Capital, which owns a nearly 10% stake in the adventure cruise company, to its board.

New York-based Lindblad appointed Thomas Smith, a former chief executive of auction house Sothebys, and Sarah Farrell, an associate at ValueAct, to fill two vacant seats on its eight member board, the company said in a regulatory filing.

Two weeks ago, ValueAct, the San Francisco-based activist investment firm known for staying out of the public eye and negotiation with companies in private, increased its ownership in Lindblad to 9.8% from 7.4%.

ValueAct is the second largest investor in the $250 million company that offers adventure cruises to see grizzly bears in Alaska and penguins in Antarctica.

Its share price has tumbled 62% in the last month as fears over the coronavirus pandemic have halted virtually all travel.

“Lindblad’s board has always been a source of wisdom for our management team in all ways and adding two new members with distinct backgrounds and experience simply adds to an already solid board,” board chairman Mark Ein said in a regulatory filing.