J. Alexander’s Strikes Cooperation Agreement with Ancora Advisors

J. Alexander’s Holdings, Inc., owner and operator of J. Alexander’s, Redlands Grill, Stoney River Steakhouse and Grill and other restaurants, announced the expansion of its Board of Directors to seven directors and the appointment of Carl J. Grassi to the Board as part of a cooperation agreement with Ancora Advisors, LLC. Grassi will serve as a Class II director, with an initial term through the company’s 2020 Annual Meeting of Shareholders and the company has agreed to include Grassi in the company’s slate of director nominees for election at the 2020 Annual Meeting for a three-year term.

“We are pleased to welcome Carl to the Board,” says Lonnie J. Stout II, Executive Chairman of the Board. “We believe his insight will be an asset as we move forward with the Company’s previously announced review of strategic alternatives, which we plan to continue once the COVID-19-related uncertainties in the business community, the restaurant industry and the financial markets are resolved and the Company’s performance has returned to levels which will support an attractive valuation.”

“We anticipate that Carl will bring a unique perspective to the boardroom and support the Company’s efforts to enhance shareholder value,” adds Mark Parkey, President and Chief Executive Officer of the company.

Grassi is a Member at business advisory and advocacy law firm McDonald Hopkins, LLC and serves on its Board of Directors. Grassi was firm chairman from 2016 to 2019 at McDonald Hopkins after serving as firm president for nine years. Grassi is corporate counsel to a number of middle-market and growth companies. He has extensive experience assisting clients with corporate law and tax law matters. Grassi earned a J.D. from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in 1984. He received a B.S.B.A. from John Carroll University in 1981. Grassi is a member of the Advisory Board of Ancora Holdings Inc.

Fred DiSanto, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ancora, says, “We are pleased to have reached this agreement with J. Alexander’s to add Carl to the Board. We look forward to continuing our collaborative engagement with the Board and management team to drive long-term value creation for shareholders.”


Under the terms of the Agreement, Ancora and its affiliates have agreed to abide by customary standstill and voting provisions until the earlier of (i) the 60th day prior to the company’s 2021 Annual Meeting of Shareholders and (ii) the day immediately following any public announcement by the company that it has abandoned its previously announced strategic review process. The Agreement will be included as an exhibit to the company’s current report on Form 8-K, which will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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