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Barington Group Calls Darden Restaurants' Plan To Enhance Shareholder Value Incomplete And Inadequate

As illustrated in our December 17 th presentation, Darden has significantly underperformed its peers as the Company has struggled to manage its eight brands.  We fail to see how the Company's performance will be much different managing seven.  We therefore continue to recommend that the Company separate Olive Garden from its higher-growth brands.  Given the extensive list of benefits that Darden has stated will be achieved from the separation of Red Lobster, we think that it is only logical that Darden should do the same with respect to its largest brand that accounts for over 40% of the Company's revenue.

Unfortunately, Darden's proposed plan appears to us to be more of an attempt to do the minimum necessary to maintain the status quo than an effort to formulate a truly comprehensive strategy to improve long-term shareholder value.  We are convinced that Darden can and should be doing more to improve value for its shareholders.

We intend to host an online presentation on January 30, 2014 to discuss our recommendations to improve shareholder value at Darden and our concerns with the Company's proposed plan.  Further details of our presentation will be announced later this month.

About Barington Capital Group, L.P.

Barington Capital Group, L.P. is an investment firm that, through its affiliates, manages a value-oriented, activist investment fund that was established by James A. Mitarotonda in January 2000.  The Fund invests in undervalued publicly traded companies that Barington believes could appreciate significantly in value as a result of a change in corporate strategy or from various operational, financial or corporate governance improvements.  Barington's investment team, senior advisors and industry contacts are seasoned operating specialists, experienced in working with companies to design and implement initiatives to improve their financial and share price performance.  Barington is a frequent investor in branded consumer focused companies, with prior investments in companies such as Lone Star Steakhouse, Dillard's, Warnaco, The Jones Group, Pep Boys, Steven Madden and Nautica.

On December 17, 2013, Barington released a detailed presentation setting forth its recommendations to improve long-term shareholder value at Darden.  The release followed a month-long independent review of Barington's recommendations by Houlihan Lokey, the Barington Group's financial advisor.  The presentation can be found on Barington's website at http://www.barington.com/press-releases.html.

SOURCE Barington Capital Group, L.P.

Copyright 2011 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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