NEW ALBANY, Ohio, Aug. 6, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Bob Evans Farms, Inc., (Nasdaq:BOBE) today mailed a letter from its Board of Directors to the Company's stockholders, discussing the "unsustainable economic agenda" and "non-substantive operational suggestions" put forward by Sandell Asset Management, which is attempting to turn over control of the Company at the Bob Evans 2014 Annual Meeting on August 20th. The letter stated that the "Board, after careful analysis, has determined that the Sandell agenda would jeopardize long-term sustainable value creation at Bob Evans and that it is NOT in the best interests of the Company or its stockholders."
The letter further stated: "In just the past two weeks, perhaps recognizing that its economic proposals do not make sense for Bob Evans, Sandell has hastily prepared suggestions for ways the Company can operate its business. While the Bob Evans Board welcomes ideas for operational improvements from stockholders, customers and employees, it finds Sandell's ideas of limited utility, since they either lack substance or already are being implemented by the Company." In contrast to Sandell's non-substantive operational suggestions, the letter presented a digest of operational initiatives the Company has undertaken in key areas, including: revising brand position and improving customer experience; simplifying and enhancing the menu; optimizing marketing effectiveness; improving restaurant margins, and developing future franchising opportunities.
In the letter, Lead Independent Director Michael Gasser and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Steven Davis, on behalf of the Board of Directors, urged stockholders to elect the nominees recommended by the Board. They noted that the Board's nominees are highly qualified individuals who engage in a regular and rigorous review of all ideas for improving shareholder value, with the objective of adhering to a strategy that is sustainable, disciplined, and responsible. It stated that the Board will continue to: 1) drive the profitable growth of the existing businesses, 2) employ a balanced approach to the return of meaningful capital to stockholders and investment in growth, and 3) regularly and proactively review strategy, while continually engaging with stockholders.