Activist Starboard takes stake in Bloomin’ Brands – report
Actvist fund Starboard Value has taken a more than 5% stake in Outback Steakhouse owner Bloomin’ Brands.
The stake makes Starboard one of Bloomin’ Brands top five shareholders, according to a WSJ report on Thursday, which cited people familiar with the company. It wasn’t immediately known what changes Starboard might be advocating for with the restaurant chain owner.
The news comes after Bloomin’ Brands (NASDAQ:BLMN) shares rose 3.5% on Tuesday amid speculation an activist may have been accumulating the shares after a 13F filing. Morgan Stanley was a big buyer of BLMN in Q2 and ended the quarter as one of the top 5 biggest holders of the owner of Outback Steakhouse, Gordon Haskett’s Don Bilson highlighted in a note on Tuesday.
The Morgan Stanley purchase was interesting after Jeff Smith of Starboard told CNBC last month that he sees opportunities in the restaurant space. Starboard has used Morgan Stanley in the past for options/swaps, Bilson noted.
Starboard has previously been involved in a proxy fight with Darden Restaurants (DRI), which owns the Olive Garden chain, where the activist replaced the company’s entire board. The fund has previously run an activist campaign with pizza chain Papa John’s (PZZA).