Bob Evans Farms Inc. said four of activist investor Sandell Asset Management Corp.’s board nominees were elected as directors, one fewer than the hedge fund said had been chosen last week.
Eight incumbent nominees also were elected, New Albany, Ohio-based Bob Evans said in a statement today, citing preliminary vote totals. Sandell, based in New York, said last week that it had won at least five seats on the board.
The results would give Bob Evans control of two-thirds of its board, which may help it resist Sandell’s push for the company to sell its real estate and spin off its packaged-food business. The restaurant chain said last week that it would increase its share buyback authorization, a move Sandell had pushed for.
Sandell said today that the results, along with the replacement of three directors with independent board members in April, still show that Bob Evans shareholders want change.
“The fact remains that with seven out of 12 members added since April, this will be a thoroughly refreshed and reconstituted board,” Chief Executive Officer Tom Sandell said in an e-mailed statement. “It is now time for all the directors on the board to work in a cohesive and expeditious manner to unlock the significant value embedded at the company.”
Bob Evans fell 2.7 percent to $47.76 at the close in New York. The shares have slid 5.6 percent this year.
Bob Evans, in a separate statement, posted adjusted fiscal first-quarter profit of 10 cents a share, matching analysts’ estimates. Sales fell 0.9 percent to $326.3 million, trailing projections.
(A previous version of this story was corrected to fix where Bob Evans is based.)