Hedge fund firm Sandell Asset Management is insisting that restaurant operator Bob Evans Farms separate its food products business.
The Wall Street Journal reported that New York-based Sandell Asset, which owns about 5.1% of Bob Evans, is urging that the company sell the unit, BEF Foods, through a sale or spin-off to shareholders.
Sandell also recommended that Bob Evans unlock the real-estate value of its properties through a sale-leaseback transaction, and then buy back its shares with most of the most proceeds raised from the efforts, which it estimated could generate about $1.08 billion in profit.
Bob Evans shares are up 45% so far this year. It sold Mimi’s Café business, its chain of French inspired casual dining restaurants, earlier this year due to declining sales.
Launched in 1998 by Tom Sandell, Sandell Asset has an additional office in London.