Starboard Value Cuts Stake in Darden Restaurants

Starboard Value Cuts Stake in Darden Restaurants

Tuesday, January 12th, 2016

Starboard Value, who seized control of Darden Restaurants in 2014, has announced that it is cutting back about 11% of its stake in the company.

This decision to trim its stake comes just as the restaurant chain’s stock prices began to reflect a “significant appreciation,” the Wall Street Journal reports, having increased by about 16% in the last year.

Darden Restaurants' Stock as of Jan. 12, 2016 at 1:53 PM EST

This comes after a tumultuous year for Darden restaurants, necessitating a turnaround plan that included Starboard’s completely overturning its entire Board of Directors and naming Starboard CEO Jeffrey Smith as its Chairman in October of 2014.

Jeffrey Smith, Managing Member and CEO, Starboard ValueAccording to the report, Starboard said it intends to remain a large shareholder in Darden n a regulatory filing, a stake which currently stands at 8.1%, 10.3 million shares. According to WSJ, as of a filing on November 27th, this is down from 11.6 million shares (9.1% of stock.)

The plan to turn around the company’s performance does look to be working. Darden beat Wall Street expectations at the close of its Q3 for 2015, increasing sales for its sixth consecutive quarter.

Gene Lee, CEO, Darden Restaurants One point of these changes was the revamp of Darden subsidiary Olive Garden’s brand, with CEO Gene Lee having stating that the progress is a direct result of the company’s hard work and commitment to creating memorable guest experiences.

“We continue to make progress on our operating fundamentals of culinary innovation, attentive service, and engaging atmospheres while continuing to focus on disciplined cost management,” Lee said in a September report.

Stay tuned to DeliMarket News for more on Darden Restaurants as it seeks to continue to better its performance.

Darden Restaurants

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