Hedge Fund Manager Backs ValueVision Team

A top investor in Shop HQ parent ValueVision Media who once criticized its former management for sticking shareholders with the bill of fighting off a proxy battle with activist investors, has soundly backed the company’s new ownership and management team, stating in a letter filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission that he is switching his funds investment position in the company from “active” to “passive.”

In a brief letter to ShopHQ CEO Mark Bozek, Cannell Capital managing member J. Carlo Cannell wrote that his hedge fund “no longer seeks to effect positive change in the change in the control of ValueVision Media, Inc.("VVTV"). We are content and confident that you have this sacred duty in hand.”

Cannell Capital owns about 3 million ValueVision shares, or about 5.6% of its outstanding stock. The letter was part of a quarterly 13-G filing with the SEC Cannell made on Oct. 14. Owners of 5% or more of a public company‘s shares are required by the SEC to file 13-G statements each quarter.

While 13-Gs are usually dry and to the point, Cannell has used them as a forum on occasion. In June, he criticized ValueVision’s then-CEO Randy Ronning for sticking shareholders with a $3 million bill for public relations and legal advisors to defend the company from a proxy battle being waged by dissident investor Clinton Group.

Clinton won that fight – it ended up electing a majority of the board of directors, ousting ValueVision’s management and installing new executives including Bozek, the former CEO of shopping network rival HSN, Inc.

“Since arriving about four months ago you have pruned the executive suite, driving away those to whom the very notion of a five day work was apparently abhorrent,” Cannel wrote. “You have let in air, light and a general feeling of relevance to all employees. You have given customers a taste of what should, and can, happen with the success of the Mark Cuban American Dream show (the debut of which set a ShopHQ viewership record). Perhaps most importantly, you have reactivated relationships with merchants. Good start. Good luck. Godspeed.”