Sealy Investor Targets KKR

Second biggest holder accuses PE firm of poor governance, proposes changes.

KKR & Co., the private equity firm that owns 45 percent of Sealy Corp., is being targeted by the mattress maker’s second-largest shareholder for “significant corporate governance deficiencies” that it says have stifled Sealy’s performance.

H Partners Management LLC, which owns 14 percent of Sealy, said in a letter to the company’s corporate governance committee that KKR has “overloaded” the firm with debt and made strategic errors that reduced Sealy’s earnings by half. The New York-based investor also singled out Dean Nelson, head of KKR’s consulting unit and a Sealy director since 2004, for “excessive” influence on the board.

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