At Home shareholders about to decide whether to sell or stick with the Plano home superstore

A decision on the sale of Plano-based home décor superstore retailer At Home is expected this week, and a major shareholder is urging the retailer to disclose preliminary financial results for the quarter while shareholders are deciding what to do.

At Home shareholders have up to midnight on Tuesday to sell their investment in the retailer to California private equity firm Hellman & Friedman for $37 a share.

Hellman & Friedman could extend the deadline for its offer, first announced in May, but it has said it will not change its offering price of $2.8 billion, which includes the assumption of $308 million in long-term debt. In June, it raised its per share offer by a dollar. H&F needs a simple majority of shares tendered to complete the acquisition and take the company private.

Shareholder of Plano-based At Home are being asked to sell their stock for $37-a-share to California-based private equity firm Hellman & Friedman. The retailer will be taken private if a majority of shareholders sell to H&F.

At Home’s largest shareholder, CAS Investment Partners, says At Home should pre-release its sales results for the second quarter that ends later this month so that shareholders can review At Home’s performance before the tender offer’s expiration date. At Home has released early sales data in recent quarters.

“Rather than keep stockholders in the dark about the company’s continued momentum, we believe At Home should be providing them with as much information as possible,” said Clifford Sosin, founder and manager of CAS. “Stockholders should not be asked to make a decision about whether to tender into the meager H&F offer without first receiving an easily prepared update on the current quarter.”

The retailer hasn’t responded to a request for comment.

Display of garden pottery in an At Home store.

CAS said it has access to credit card data that indicates At Home’s same-store sales are up about 30% from 2019 levels.

Sosin also urged shareholders to “seriously question why the company is not releasing this important information at a time when we need it the most.”

At Home’s total sales increased 27.3% last year to $1.74 billion, and same-stores sales were up 19.4%. Momentum continued in the first quarter, when sales more than doubled to $537.1 million from $189.8 million in the prior year.

In its opposition to H&F’s acquisition of At Home, CAS has contended all along that the offering price is too low because it doesn’t take future growth into consideration. At Home continues to open new stores, two last month in Denver and Sacramento, and now has 228 stores in 40 states. The company has said it expects to grow to a 600-store chain.

Ashley Buchanan, 47, chief executive officer at arts and crafts retailer Michaels, took over just before the pandemic hit.

Twitter: @MariaHalkias

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