Starboard Delivers Letter to Darden Board

                  Starboard Delivers Letter to Darden Board

Highlights Need for a New Direction and New Leadership at Darden

Condemns Board for Recent Value Destruction - Since Red Lobster Sale $1
Billion of Market Value Has Been Lost Relative to Peers

Believes Red Lobster Sale is the Latest in a String of Bad Decisions Made by
Management and the Board That Has Led to Massive Stock Price Underperformance
Relative to Peers over Past Five Years

Urges Board to Take Responsibility for its Actions and Allow Starboard's
Highly Qualified Nominees to Begin Darden's Much-Needed Turnaround without
Unnecessary Delay

PR Newswire

NEW YORK, July 15, 2014

NEW YORK, July 15, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --Starboard Value LP (together with its
affiliates, "Starboard"), one of the largest shareholders of Darden
Restaurants, Inc. ("Darden" or the "Company") (NYSE: DRI), with beneficial
ownership of approximately 7.1% of the outstanding common stock of the
Company, today announced it has delivered a letter to Darden's Board of
Directors.

The full text of the letter to the Board is available for viewing at the
following link: http://tinyurl.com/LettertoDRIBoard

About Starboard Value LP
Starboard Value LP is a New York-based investment adviser with a focused and
differentiated fundamental approach to investing in publicly traded U.S. small
cap companies. Starboard invests in deeply undervalued small cap companies and
actively engages with management teams and boards of directors to identify and
execute on opportunities to unlock value for the benefit of all shareholders.

Investor contacts:
Peter Feld, (212) 201-4878
Gavin Molinelli, (212) 201-4828
www.starboardvalue.com

Okapi Partners
Bruce H. Goldfarb/Patrick McHugh
(212) 297-0720

 CERTAIN INFORMATION CONCERNING THE PARTICIPANTS

Starboard Value LP, together with the other participants named herein
(collectively, "Starboard"), intends to make a preliminary filing with the
Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") of a proxy statement and an
accompanying proxy card to be used to solicit votes for the election of a
slate of director nominees at the 2014 annual meeting of shareholders of
Darden Restaurants, Inc. (the "Company").

STARBOARD ADVISES ALL SHAREHOLDERS OF THE COMPANY TO READ THE PROXY STATEMENT
AND OTHER PROXY MATERIALS AS THEY BECOME AVAILABLE BECAUSE THEY WILL CONTAIN
IMPORTANT INFORMATION. SUCH PROXY MATERIALS WILL BE AVAILABLE AT NO CHARGE ON
THE SEC'S WEB SITE AT HTTP://WWW.SEC.GOV. IN ADDITION, THE PARTICIPANTS IN THE
SOLICITATION WILL PROVIDE COPIES OF THESE MATERIALS WITHOUT CHARGE UPON
REQUEST.

The participants in this solicitation are Starboard Value and Opportunity
Master Fund Ltd ("Starboard V&O Fund"), Starboard Value and Opportunity S LLC
("Starboard S LLC"), Starboard Value and Opportunity C LP ("Starboard C LP"),
Starboard Leaders Delta LLC ("Delta LLC"), Starboard Leaders Fund LP ("Leaders
Fund"), Starboard Value LP, Starboard Value GP LLC ("Starboard Value GP"),
Starboard Principal Co LP ("Principal Co"), Starboard Principal Co GP LLC
("Principal GP"), Starboard Value A LP ("Starboard A LP"), Starboard Value A
GP LLC ("Starboard A GP"), Starboard Value R LP ("Starboard R LP"), Starboard
Value R GP LLC ("Starboard R GP"), Jeffrey C. Smith, Mark R. Mitchell, Peter
A. Feld, Bradley D. Blum, Charles M. Sonsteby, Robert Mock, Craig S. Miller,
Betsy S. Atkins, Margaret Shan Atkins, Jean M. Birch, James P. Fogarty,
Cynthia T. Jamison, William H. Lenehan, Lionel L. Nowell, III, and Alan N.
Stillman.

As of the date hereof, Starboard V&O Fund directly beneficially owns 2,506,267
shares of common stock, no par value of the Company (the "Common Stock"),
which includes 979,939 shares of Common Stock underlying call options
exercisable within 60 days hereof. As of the date hereof, Starboard S LLC
directly owns 573,216 shares of Common Stock. As of the date hereof, Starboard
C LP directly owns 314,202 shares of Common Stock. Starboard R LP, as the
general partner of Starboard C LP, may be deemed the beneficial owner of the
314,202 shares owned by Starboard C LP. Starboard R GP, as the general partner
of Starboard R LP, may be deemed the beneficial owner of the 314,202 shares
owned by Starboard C LP. As of the date hereof, Delta LLC directly owns
1,272,025 shares of Common Stock. Leaders Fund, as a member of Delta LLC, may
be deemed the beneficial owner of the 1,272,025 shares owned by Delta LLC.
Starboard A LP, as the general partner of Leaders Fund and the managing member
of Delta LLC, may be deemed the beneficial owner of the 1,272,025 shares owned
by Delta LLC. Starboard A GP, as the general partner of Starboard A LP, may be
deemed the beneficial owner of the 1,272,025 shares owned by Delta LLC. As of
the date hereof, Starboard Value LP beneficially owns 9,400,000 shares of
Common Stock, consisting of shares of Common Stock owned directly by Starboard
V&O Fund, Starboard S LLC, Starboard C LP and Delta LLC, and 4,734,290 shares
of Common Stock held in certain managed accounts (the "Starboard Value LP
Accounts"). Each of Starboard Value GP, as the general partner of Starboard
Value LP, Principal Co, as a member of Starboard Value GP, Principal GP, as
the general partner of Principal Co, and Messrs. Smith, Feld and Mitchell,
each as a member of Principal GP and as a member of the Management Committee
of Starboard Value GP and the Management Committee of Principal GP, may be
deemed to be the beneficial owner of the aggregate of 9,400,000 shares of
Common Stock owned directly by Starboard V&O Fund, Starboard S LLC, Starboard
C LP, Delta LLC and held in the Starboard Value LP Accounts. As of the date
hereof, Mr. Blum directly owns 2,250 shares of Common Stock. As of the date
hereof, Mr. Sonsteby directly owns 3,000 shares of Common Stock. As of the
date hereof, Mr. Mock directly owns 1,318 shares of Common Stock. As of the
date hereof, Mr. Miller directly owns 1,000 shares of Common Stock. As of the
date hereof, Ms. Betsy Atkins directly owns 200 shares of Common Stock. As of
the date hereof, Ms. Shan Atkins directly owns 150 shares of Common Stock.As
of the date hereof, Ms. Birch directly owns 450 shares of Common Stock.As of
the date hereof, Ms. Jamison directly owns 420 shares of Common Stock.As of
the date hereof, Mr. Lenehan directly owns 1,108 shares of Common Stock.As
of the date hereof, Mr. Stillman directly owns 100 shares of Common Stock.As
of the date hereof, Mr. Fogarty directly owns 1,990 shares of Common
Stock.As of the date hereof, Mr. Nowell directly owns 400 shares of Common
Stock.

SOURCE Starboard Value LP

Website: http://www.starboardvalue.com
 
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