THE BATTLE FOR DARDEN

This report contains some of our thoughts following Darden’s most recent presentation on creating shareholder value.  Overall, the presentation was riddled with disingenuous facts and consistent with what we’d expect from a CEO who is out of touch with reality.  This is the second presentation of this type, making the first one on December 19, 2013 look more like a reactionary response rather than the proactive move the company claims.

Furthermore, we were disappointed to find out the company cancelled its analyst meeting at the end of the month and believe this signals yet another sign of weakness.  It makes sense, however, as the company has been under a lot of public scrutiny – and rightfully so.  Considering these two recent events, we believe Mr. Otis did himself a disservice this past week.  In the end, it makes the case for the activist shareholders stronger.  It has become increasingly clear that they must stop the Red Lobster spinoff and aggressively push for more significant changes.

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Howard Penney

Managing Director