NEW YORK (AP) _ A major shareholder of Sharper Image Corp. on Thursday said it is seeking to take over the company's board in an effort to turn around the ailing high-end gadget retailer.
Knightspoint Group, which owns 12.8 percent of Sharper Image, told the company it plans to nominate seven candidates to replace the existing board at the next annual shareholder meeting.
Shares of Sharper Image surged on the news, climbing $2.04, or 20 percent, to $12 in early trading on the Nasdaq. The stock had declined about 37 percent in the last 12 months.
Sharper Image officials were not immediately available for comment.
The investment consortium pointed to Sharper Image's plunging sales and earnings, saying the retailer ``has been slow to respond to changing market dynamics, has inefficiently deployed financial and other resources and has pursued a flawed new product development and merchandising strategy that has led to undue reliance on a narrow set of key product categories.''
For the nine months ended Oct. 31, the San Francisco-based company's deficit widened to $1.45 per share on $405.3 million in sales, which fell 12 percent from the prior-year period.
Knightspoint said it intends to retool Sharper Image's strategy by creating a consumer-focused product-development process, reassessing marketing expenses and cutting overhead costs, among other plans.
Knightspoint includes Knightspoint Partners LLC, Ramius Capital Group and several other individual investors.