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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Activist investor turns up heat on Darden CEO, (NYSE: DRI)

Starboard Value has asked Darden Restaurants Inc to delay the spinoff of its Red Lobster chain, becoming the second activist investor in as many weeks to criticize Darden's plans.In a letter on Tuesday to Darden's chief executive officer and board of directors, Starboard called for the company to look closely at other options to lift the value of shares, including improving operations and cutting costs companywide.Starboard, which said it owns 5.5 percent of Darden's shares, also wants the company to evaluate all options related to its real state holdings. That includes possibly creating a real estate investment trust for the properties Darden owns, whose value Starboard said was "substantial.""We believe a separation of Red Lobster as currently conceived could destroy substantial value," Starboard managing member Jeffrey Smith wrote in the letter.

Darden Restaurants, Inc. is a full service restaurant company. Shares of DRI fell by 0.33% or $-0.17/share to $50.79. In the past year, the shares have traded as low as $44.11 and as high as $55.25. On average, 1556310 shares of DRI exchange hands on a given day and today's volume is recorded at 555026.