Starboard Sues Darden For Books

Jul 25 2014 | 3:34pm ET

Hedge fund Starboard Value is keeping up the pressure on Darden Restaurants, asking a court to force the company to turn over its financials.

Starboard, which opposes Darden’s plan to sell its Red Lobster chain to a private-equity firm and which has launched a proxy contest to throw out Darden’s entire board, has now sued the company. The hedge fund said Darden has employed “months of maneuvers” to prevent shareholders from having a say in its affairs and has refused to provide requested information for two months.

Darden responded that Starboard’s requests were “overbroad” and sought “privileged” information.

“Darden has sought, through good-faith negotiations with Starboard, to address the issues raised by its demand, including the need to protect the confidentiality of Darden’s books and records by entering into a customary confidentiality agreement,” the company said.

Starboard, which owns a 7.1% stake in Darden, said that the company left it “no choice” but to sue after demanding it narrow its request.

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