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

Steinbrugge: Top 10 Hedge Fund Industry Trends for 2017

Jan 3 2017 | 9:03pm ET

Each year, Agecroft Partners' Don Steinbrugge predicts the top hedge fund industry...

Lifestyle

'Tis the Season: Wall Street Holiday Parties Back In Fashion

Dec 22 2016 | 9:23pm ET

Spending on Wall Street holiday parties has largely returned to pre-2008 levels...

Guest Contributor

DarcMatter: The Top Trends in Alternative Investments for 2017

Jan 13 2017 | 8:22pm ET

The $7 trillion alternative investments industry is poised for continued growth...

 

From the current issue of

Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Mary Jo White will step down as chair of the nation’s Wall Street overseer in January, setting the stage for a potential conservative shift in the regulator’s leadership under the incoming Donald Trump administration.