(Adds details, background on proxy battle)
Dec 11 (Reuters) - Marcato said on Monday it was open to a proposal by Deckers Outdoor Corp's board to interview the activist investor's nominees only if the footwear maker was willing to reach a settlement agreement ahead of a shareholder meeting this week.
The company had sent a letter seeking interviews of the hedge fund's nominees on Dec. 7, an invitation Marcato called a "record building exercise and an effort to gain a tactical advantage in the proxy contest."
Tensions have mounted between the two sides for months and may be resolved only at Deckers' upcoming annual meeting, on Dec. 14, when shareholders vote on board nominees. (http://bit.ly/2jysDs2)
Marcato, which has an 8.5 percent stake in the footwear maker, has nominated three members, down from its earlier proposal to replace the company's entire nine-member board.
San Francisco-based Marcato has urged Deckers to sell off pieces of the company, buy back shares and overhaul executive compensation. It has criticized Deckers for what it calls a lack of urgency in putting the company onto a path to success.
Proxy advisory firms Egan Jones and Glass Lewis have extended their support to Deckers' nominees, while Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) backed Marcato after the hedge fund reduced its nominees to three from nine. (Reporting by Gayathree Ganesan in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)