NEW ALBANY, Ohio, May 30, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Bob Evans Farms, Inc. (Nasdaq:BOBE) today confirmed that it has reached out to the director nominees proposed by Sandell Asset Management, seeking to interview them in a good faith effort to consider their candidacies, as the Company committed to do when Mr. Sandell first proposed them. Consistent with the process taken to consider and evaluate all of its new director candidates, including the four new independent directors added to the Board in the prior two years, the Board's lead independent director and other independent members of the Board are seeking to meet Mr. Sandell's nominees. Invitations were sent to Mr. Sandell's nine nominees on the first business day following the close of the window for stockholder nominations for election to the Company's Board on May 25, 2014, and representatives of Mr. Sandell were copied on the invitations.
Contrary to the assertions by Mr. Sandell in his press release this morning, Bob Evans offered to settle the pending proxy fight in January, by offering Mr. Sandell the opportunity to consult with the Board in the identification and selection of new independent directors to be added to the Board. Mr. Sandell rejected that offer. Furthermore, since last July, the Company has repeatedly spoken with and sought to engage Mr. Sandell in a constructive dialogue. He and his staff have spoken at length with Bob Evans' Chief Executive Officer, Steven Davis, and other members of the senior management team, as well as with the Board's lead independent director, Michael Gasser, and the Board's independent financial advisors, Lazard. From the beginning, all of Mr. Sandell's proposals have been thoroughly reviewed by the Board with the assistance of its independent advisors. Additionally, Bob Evans remains actively engaged with shareholders through its investor outreach program, which includes investor conference participation, road shows, regular earnings conference calls and one-on-one follow-up calls.