September 28, 2023

Boxing CEO Aaron Levie on Wednesday defended his company’s decision to accept a sizeable investment from KKR earlier this year.

“We felt we had a very strong long-term partner who wanted to invest in the business and make significant stock appreciation that we believe will benefit all shareholders,” Levie said in an interview with CNBC’s Jim Cramer. “We think the KKR endorsement is very helpful.”

Levie argued that the association with KKR, which gave the company a seat on the cloud service provider’s board of directors, opened up an opportunity for shareholders with either a short- or long-term view of the stock. Box uses funds to run a share buyback program.

“This creates an opportunity in which some investors, who may be more short-term oriented, can sell their shares back to the company,” said Levie on the “Mad Money” appearance. “If you are long-term oriented, you can keep up with the upward trend while we as a company continue to scale to a new level.”

Levie said KKR will play a role in growing Box’s bottom line, making acquisitions, bringing new products to market and expanding on the international scene.

Box shares fell more than 9% in April after the company announced it accepted a $ 500 million investment from KKR. The deal closed when Box was conducting a strategic review of the company.

The move likely ended the chance that Box would sell to another buyer as it faced pressure from activist investor Starboard Value. According to FactSet, the hedge fund currently has an 8% stake in the company.