Sandell to launch consent solicitation at Bob Evans
Sandell Asset Management, a large and long-time shareholder of Bob Evans Farms, released a letter to the Board of Directors of Bob Evans noting its intention to conduct a consent solicitation. The letter states in part: "In spite of some distinct corporate governance enhancements and other notable improvements following the Company's 2014 Annual Meeting, we have profound concerns regarding the continued disconnect between the Company's stock price and the value associated with its two independently-operated business segments, Bob Evans Restaurants and BEF Foods. This disconnect has grown more pronounced in recent months and the near-universal investor skepticism that surrounds Bob Evans has forced us to take this public step of embarking on the path of seeking shareholder action by written consent...At its recent stock price of approximately $38 per share, the market value of Bob Evans is approximately $750 million, and with approximately $360 million of net debt, the enterprise value of the Company is approximately $1.11 billion. This means that "the market is saying" the entire Company, namely the operations of BEF Foods and Bob Evans Restaurants, as well as the 300+ wholly-owned parcels of land and buildings underlying the Company's owned restaurants, is worth $1.11 billion. We believe that this is an affront to all financial sensibilities when one considers that the value of BEF Foods alone may approach $1.2 billion...While we would much prefer not to expend the significant amount of time and effort involved in a consent solicitation, the Company's shareholders cannot afford the continued erosion of value to persist."