Barington Hires I-Bank, Proxy Firm For Darden Campaign

Nov 21 2013 | 10:46am ET

Barington Capital Group is preparing to go to war to split Darden Restaurants.

The activist hedge fund, which last month called for the company to hive off its lower-performing brands, including the Olive Garden and Red Lobster, has hired proxy solicitation firm MacKenzie Partners, indicating that it plans to fight to get its way. The New York-based firm also engaged investment bank Houlihan Lokey to conduct an "independent review" of Darden's operations.

"Although Darden's performance has been disappointing over the past few years, we are convinced that the recommendations we shared with the company's management team in June can meaningfully enhance the long-term profitability of Darden," Barington CEO James Mitarotonda said. Despite the hiring of MacKenzie, The New York Times reports that relations between the hedge fund and Darden remain cordial.

Barington owns a 2.8% stake in Darden. It argues that its proposals, which include focusing on its higher-growth brand and extracting value from its vast real-estate holdings, could boost the company's stock price by 50%.


In Depth

Royalties: The Alternative Assets of the Music Industry

Jul 8 2016 | 7:01pm ET

Recent market volatility has investors seeking greater insight into alternative...

Lifestyle

Moore Capital PM Fired After Raucous Hamptons Party

Jul 7 2016 | 10:47pm ET

A portfolio manager for Louis Bacon’s $15 billion hedge fund Moore Capital Management...

Guest Contributor

MPI: Like Stellar Returns? Better Understand the Risks First

Jul 22 2016 | 8:44pm ET

When the press reports extraordinarily strong relative or risk-adjusted returns...