Darden Restaurants Inc., the parent company of Irvine-based Yard House USA Inc., said it has named a new board of directors based on preliminary reports of a shareholder vote.
Two activist investors in New York—Starboard Value LP and Barington Capital Group LP—advanced a slate of 12 new board members as they seek to split some of Darden’s restaurant chains from the others and its real estate holdings.
Orlando-based Darden bought Yard House in 2012 for $585 million.
This summer Darden tabbed Yard House as key to its growth, and trade publication Nation’s Restaurant News named it the second-fastest growing restaurant chain in the country with systemwide sales up 20% last year to $406 million.
Yard House has more than 50 restaurants, including seven in Orange County.
It ranks No. 6 on the Business Journal’s list of Orange County-based restaurant chains.
The two investors and Darden have battled this year over Darden’s “value” chains Red Lobster and Olive Garden.
Darden sold Red Lobster for $2.1 billion this year without a shareholder vote. The investors and the company later sparred over costs at Olive Garden.