Hedge fund seeks to replace Darden's board of directors

Hedge fund Starboard Value declared war on Darden Restaurants' leadership Thursday, saying it will try to oust the company's entire board of directors.

The move follows last week's announcement that Darden has agreed to sell Red Lobster to private equity firm Golden Gate Capital. The deal happened over the objections of Starboard, which said the sale will destroy shareholder value.

"For far too long, Darden shareholders have suffered mightily under the failed leadership of a Board that has blatantly disregarded the best interest of shareholders," Starboard said in a letter to the company.

Starboard said it would review documents to see if Darden can cancel the Red Lobster sale, set to close this summer. But it appeared resigned to the transaction and said it will now turn its focus to replacing board members.

Starboard also said Thursday it has increased its stake in Darden to 6.2 percent. It previously held about 5.5 percent of company stock.

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