Donerail drops plan to buy Turtle Beach, instead seeks to oust board -letter

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BOSTON, March 2 (Reuters) - Investment firm Donerail Group has abandoned plans to buy gaming equipment company Turtle Beach Corp (HEAR.O) and is instead seeking to oust all of its six board members including its CEO, according to a letter seen by Reuters.

Donerail, which owns a 7.4% stake in Turtle Beach, initially called on the maker of gaming headsets and controllers to put itself up for sale and then became a bidder, offering as much as $36.50 a share.

"We have withdrawn our most recent offer and are now 100% committed to turning around the Company in the public market and for the benefit of all shareholders," the letter said.

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Donerail, which is run by two former Starboard Value executives, said it wants to improve Turtle Beach's operations, capital allocation and corporate governance.

"Turtle Beach is currently plagued by governance, financial and strategic issues that need to be addressed by a more focused, open-minded and self-aware leadership team," William Wyatt, one of Donerail's founders, wrote in the letter to fellow shareholders.

A Turtle Beach representative was not immediately available for comment.

Although Turtle Beach is a leader in the global gaming headset market, Wyatt said the company's shares have tumbled more than 60% since CEO Juergen Stark took the helm nearly 10 years ago.

Wyatt and Wes Calvert founded Donerail in 2018 after spending years at Starboard, one of the industry's most successful activist investment firms. Calvert worked on the Starboard team that replaced the entire 12-person board at Darden Restaurants.

Donerail said in the letter it expects to release a detailed operating plan to show other Turtle Beach investors how it expects to "produce long-term sustainable value."

Over the last 12 months, Turtle Beach's stock price has dropped roughly 30%, shrinking the company's market value to roughly $340 million. The shares last closed at $21.07 on Tuesday, sliding 11% on the day.

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Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; Editing by Edwina Gibbs

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