Activist investor Jana Partners announced Monday in a filing that it will nominate two people to the Bloomin’ Brands eight-member board of directors, and a third, if it’s an option.
Those nominees are Scott Ostfeld, the hedge fund’s partner and co-portfolio manager, and John Gainor, a former president and CEO of Dairy Queen and member of the Jack in the Box board of directors. In case three people are eligible for election, Jana plans to also nominate Jennifer Fanjiang, the company’s chief legal officer and chief compliance officer.
In a securities filing, Jana reported that it holds 6.4 million Bloomin’ Brands shares, or 7.4 percent—the third-largest share of ownership. Gainor owns 12,000 shares, which represents less than 0.1 percent. Bloomin’ oversees Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Fleming’s, and Bonefish Grill.
The nominations come after Jana’s attempts in the past couple of years to convince the large casual-dining company to sell or break into two organizations—one focused on Outback and the other looking over smaller chains. Almost two years ago, one of Jana’s efforts resulted in a seat on the board, still held by Wendy Beck.
Bloomin’ Brands announced during its third-quarter review in November that it was putting itself up for sale, although there was no guarantee the company will be sold or make any other change. At the time, the company said it was “exploring and evaluating strategic alternatives that have the potential to maximizing value for our shareholders, including but not limited to, a possible sale of the company.” Bloomin’ is scheduled to reveal fourth-quarter earnings on February 18.
The Tampa Bay, Florida-based brand owns more than 1,450 units worldwide. The board consists of Executive Chairman Elizabeth Smith, James Craigie, Beck, Bloomin’ CEO David Deno, David Fitzjohn, Tara Levy, John Mahoney, and Michael Mohan.