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Starboard Value Advances Aggressive Slate for Darden Board, Angry After Red Lobster Sale

Starboard Value Advances Aggressive Slate for Darden Board, Angry After Red Lobster Sale

Darden Restaurants Inc. (DRI) gains Thursday amid news Starboard Value LP has nominated a slate of 12 board directors in wake of the restaurant operator's controversial announced sale of Red Lobster. Starboard confirmed the move in a release Thursday, which was first reported by The Wall Street Journal and others on Wednesday.By market standards, it's an aggressive move to try to replace all 12 seats as activist investors usually only look to grab a minority position on a board. Starboard is one of the largest shareholders and according to reports and filings has recently added to its DRI stake. According to The Wall Street Journal, Starboard's some $350 million tied up in DRI is the investment firm's largest holding. Darden agreed in mid-May to sell its struggling Red Lobster chain to private-equity firm Golden Gate Capital for $2.1 billion in cash. In its release, Starboard argues that Darden has essentially given away Red Lobster in a value destructive transaction without shareholder approval. It says its slate will remain committed to its investment in Darden and has identified significant opportunities to unlock value. The slate includes officials who served on Tim Horton's board, execs who helped run IHOP, T.G.I Fridays, Brinker International, PepsiCo, and a former DRI vice chairman, among others. DRI has ranged between $44.78 and $55.25 over the past 52 weeks.

Starboard Value Advances Aggressive Slate for Darden Board, Angry After Red Lobster Sale

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