Starboard Value LP retained Robert Mock, the former executive vice president of operations at Olive Garden and chief operating officer at Romano’s Macaroni Grill as an advisor to its investment related to Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI).
Based on its latest regulatory filing, the activist hedge fund said Mr. Mock’s primary occupation is serving as a restaurant consultant. Starboard Value decided to engage his services as an investment advisor after its discussion with him regarding his unique skill set, broad experience and knowledge about the restaurant industry.
Starboard Value and Mr. Mock signed an advisor agreement on March 9. The activist hedge fund agreed to pay Mr. Mock an upfront fee of $50,000 in cash in consideration for the performance of certain consulting and advisory services. Mr. Mock agreed to use the after-tax proceeds from the compensation to acquire shares of Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) no later than 10 business days after receiving the compensation, except in certain limited circumstances.
Mr. Mock also signed a joinder agreement on March 10 indicating his desire to join the group formed by Starboard and its affiliates in connection with the joint filing and solicitation agreement filed of February 24, 2014.
Starboard recently hired Bradley Blum as Advisor
Last month, Starboard Value hired Bradley Blum, a restaurateur and owner of a progressive restaurant company Blum Enterprises, LLC to serve as an advisor related to its investment in Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI). He was formerly president of Olive Garden and CEO of Burger King Worldwide Inc (NYSE:BKW).
Starboard Value issued a preliminary solicitation statement seeking the support of its fellow shareholders in Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) for a special meeting to be able to voice their views on the proposed separation or spin off of Red Lobster. The activist hedge fund opposed such a proposal.
In its statement, Starboard Value emphasized that the stockholders of 50% of the outstanding shares of Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) have the right to demand a special meeting. The activist hedge fund previously indicated that if it succeeds in calling the special meeting, it intends to solicit shareholder’s support for a non-binding resolution urging the board of the restaurant operator not to approve any agreement or proposal to separate or spin-off of Red Lobster prior to the 2014 annual shareholders meeting unless a transaction or agreement requires shareholder approval.
Starboard Value owns a 5.5% stake in Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI).