Barington Group Announces Release Of Detailed Plan To Improve Long-Term Shareholder Value At Darden Restaurants

Release Follows a Month-Long Independent Review by Houlihan Lokey

Plan Demonstrates Value Creation Opportunities at Darden of up to $80 per Share

Dec 17, 2013, 08:00 ET from Barington Capital Group, L.P.

NEW YORK, Dec. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Barington Capital Group, L.P., which represents a group of shareholders that owns over 2% of the outstanding common stock of Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE: DRI), today released a detailed presentation setting forth Barington's recommendations to improve long-term shareholder value at Darden.  The release of the report follows a month-long independent review of Barington's recommendations by Houlihan Lokey, financial advisor to the Barington Group.

The report states that if Barington's recommendations were fully implemented, Darden's common stock would be valued between $71 and $80 per share.  This is higher than Barington's earlier estimate of $69 - $76 per share.  The report can be found on Barington's website at  Barington intends to promptly share its recommendations with Clarence Otis, the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Darden.  Barington will also conduct a webinar to review the presentation with interested parties in January 2014.

James A. Mitarotonda, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Barington Capital Group, L.P., stated: "We are pleased with the results of Houlihan Lokey's independent analysis of our recommendations.  Their work not only confirms the opportunities we identified to improve long-term shareholder value at Darden, it also adds practical strategies to execute our recommendations and mitigate implementation costs.

Mr. Mitarotonda continued, "Houlihan Lokey's work reinforces our confidence that Darden has the potential to deliver significantly stronger returns for shareholders.  We look forward to sharing our updated presentation with the Company and remain committed to helping improving long-term value for the benefit of all Darden shareholders."

About Barington Capital Group, L.P.

Barington Capital Group, L.P. is an investment firm that, through its affiliates, manages a value-oriented, activist investment fund that was established by James A. Mitarotonda in January 2000.  The Fund invests in undervalued publicly traded companies that Barington believes could appreciate significantly in value as a result of a change in corporate strategy or from various operational, financial or corporate governance improvements.  Barington's investment team, senior advisors and industry contacts are seasoned operating specialists, experienced in working with companies to design and implement initiatives to improve their financial and share price performance.  Barington is a frequent investor in branded consumer focused companies, with prior investments in companies such as Lone Star Steakhouse, Dillard's, Warnaco, The Jones Group, Pep Boys, Steven Madden and Nautica.

SOURCE Barington Capital Group, L.P.