Box CEO Aaron Levie on Wednesday defended his company’s decision to accept a sizeable investment from KKR earlier this year.
“We felt that we had a very strong long-term partner that wanted to invest in the business and be able to see significant stock appreciation that we believe all shareholders will benefit from,” Levie said in an interview with CNBC’s Jim Cramer. “We think that the KKR endorsement very is helpful.”
Levie argued the tie-up with KKR, which gave the firm a seat on the cloud services provider’s board, opened an opportunity for shareholders who have either a short- or long-term view on the stock. Box is using funds to execute a stock buyback program.
“This kind of creates an opportunity where some investors that might be more short-term oriented will be able to sell their shares back to the company,” Levie said in the “Mad Money” appearance. “If you are more long-term oriented, you can ride the upside as we continue to scale to new levels as a company.”
Levie said KKR would play a role in helping to boost Box’s bottom line, execute acquisitions, launch new products and expand on the international stage.
Box shares tumbled more than 9% in April after the company announced it had accepted a $500 million investment from KKR. The deal was made as Box conducted a strategic review of the company.
The move likely ended the chance that Box would sell itself off to another buyer as it faced pressure from the activist investor Starboard Value. The hedge fund currently has an 8% stake in the company, according to FactSet.