Peeved over the pending sale of Red Lobster, an investment firm wants to replace Darden Restaurants’ (DRI) board of directors. Starboard Value, an activist hedge fund in New York, contends that Darden has “essentially given away” the seafood chain in its recent $2.1 billion agreement to sell it to Golden Gate Capital, a private equity firm in San Francisco.
Starboard, which holds a 6.2 percent stake in Darden, nominated a dozen new directors today with hopes of replacing the company’s entire board. Starboard has opposed the Red Lobster divestment since December, when Darden said it planned to sell the chain or spin it off to shareholders.
The fight centers largely around whether Darden directors foolishly squandered shareholder value with a “fire sale” of 700 Red Lobster properties or if the board got a respectable price considering the massive plunge in the chain’s sales.