The Morning Brief: Marcato Nominates McGuire Among Four to BWW Board

February 07, 2017   Stephen Taub


Marcato Capital Management has nominated four people to the board of casual dining chain Buffalo Wild Wings, including Mick McGuire III, who heads up the San Francisco-based activist hedge fund firm. The other three have experience in the restaurant or food service businesses.

"Marcato believes that its nominees’ substantial restaurant expertise will strengthen Buffalo Wild Wings’ brand strategy, restaurant-level execution, franchising plan and capital allocation framework," the firm states in a press release. Last month, Buffalo Wild Wings announced a $400 million stock repurchase program, bringing the total authorization to $900 million.

The company also moved up its plan to reach a leverage ratio target of 1.5 times debt to EBITDA to the end of fiscal 2017 from its previous target date of the end of fiscal 2018. Marcato initiated its activist position in the stock in the third quarter of 2016, becoming the fourth-largest shareholder, with 5.2 percent of the shares. Shares of the company rose 0.8 percent to close at $151.15.

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Caxton Corp. disclosed it boosted its stake in Agile Therapeutics by about 350,000 shares, as of December 31, 2016, to more than 2.1 million shares, or 7.4 percent of the women’s health specialty pharmaceutical company. The investment is filed as a passive position.

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Balyasny Asset Management disclosed it owned 2.2 million shares of Restoration Hardware Holdings, or 5.4 percent of the total number of shares as of January 31. This is a six-fold increase in the Chicago hedge fund firm’s passive stake in the high-end home furnishings company compared with the end of the third quarter, the latest quarterly statement it is required to have filed at this time. The deadline for disclosing year-end holdings is next Tuesday, February 14.

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Ricky Sandler’s Eminence Capital led the $15 million Series C financing for Comprehend Systems. The company offers a variety of intelligence applications that enables health care professionals and related people to "significantly improve the speed, safety and quality of a portfolio of clinical trials," according to a company description.

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Valeant Pharmaceuticals International surged 2.6 percent on Monday. As a result the stock is slightly above break-even for the year. However, remember it was still down 86 percent last year.


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