Bob Evans $565M sale highlights restaurant industry challenges

January 25, 2017

This post is part of the On the Margin blog.

For at least three years, investors have pushed Bob Evans Farms Inc. to spin off BEF Foods, its packaged foods business.

Bob Evans has steadfastly resisted this idea. Not even a proxy fight, ignited by large shareholder Sandell Asset Management, could get the company to split its two businesses.

In March, Bob Evans CEO Saed Mohseni explained the company’s reluctance to sell: The packaged foods business gave the company a higher valuation.

“Bob Evans’ restaurant company is trading at a much higher multiple than most restaurants with declining [same-store] sales,” Mohseni