Sandell Not Completely Satisfied With Bob Evans Sale

Jenna Warner
January 26, 2017

The private equity firm buying the Bob Evans Restaurants is Golden Gate Capital, based in San Francisco, which bought Red Lobster restaurants in 2014, said NRN.

At the same time, BEF Foods will continue to operate under the Bob Evans Farms banner and is acquiring Pineland Farms Potato, which not only adds another potato processing facility to BEF, but also comes with a 900-acre potato farm.

"Bob Evans Restaurants has made tremendous progress over the last few years as our teams have strived to upgrade every aspect of the guest experience", Bob Evans CEO Saed Mohseni said.

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As part of the deal, proceeds will be used to pay down debt and for a special dividend amounting to $150 million, or about $7.50 a share, after the sale closes.

"Bob Evans Restaurants is an exceptional brand, uniquely differentiated by its deep-rooted heritage of farm-fresh food and heartfelt hospitality", said Josh Cohen, managing director at Golden Gate Capital. The company will remain in its current headquarters in New Albany, where it relocated in 2011 from the South Side of Columbus. "Bob Evans' ownership adds new dimensions which will greatly strengthen the company to the long-term benefit of employees, potato growers, the economy of northern ME and our superb customer base".

Bob Evans Farms declined until around mid-morning Tuesday, before settling into a range. In 2013, Sandell Asset Management, an investor in the company, began recommending a spin-off of BEF Foods as a way to improve shareholder returns. "We believe these transactions are the best options for creating shareholder value and providing for the future success of these two great businesses".

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