Bob Evans, where activist Sandell Asset Management owns 6.9% of the company, is looking to monetize its real estate. But it's not the full-blown sale-leaseback of the entire restaurant portfolio that Sandell has been pushing for. Sandell has been active since the fall of 2013 and is down close to 20% since then.
Sandell did get four board seats last fall, but not the eight he needed to take control of the board. Bob Evans also shot down Sandell's plans last year for spinoff its food processing business. But it did note that it would monetize some real estate - we're seeing that now.
The money from the sale and leaseback of its headquarters and two processing facilities will fund a buyback. However, will this be enough to really juice earnings in a declining industry? With the bigger thesis being, will Sandell use this momentum to finally convince the company that it can save face by using its money-making food processing business to unlock some shareholder value.
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