April 20 (Reuters) - Buffalo Wild Wings Inc said on Thursday that it had turned down activist shareholder Marcato Capital Management’s offer to withdraw its board nominees if the restaurant chain replaced Chief Executive Sally Smith.
Hedge fund Marcato, which said it owned a 6.1 percent stake in Buffalo Wild Wings, launched a proxy fight in February, nominating four directors for the nine-member board.
Marcato began to agitate for changes last July, saying Buffalo Wild Wings did not franchise out enough restaurants and citing concerns about the board’s lack of experience in the restaurant industry.
One of Marcato’s nominees, Kraft Food veteran Sam Rovit, is also part of Buffalo Wild Wings slate.
Marcato also wanted its founder Mick McGuire and Rovit named to Buffalo Wild Wings' board for withdrawing its nominations, the company said in a regulatory filing. (bit.ly/2oOiyaj)
“The status quo is unacceptable – oversight and accountability must be restored and CEO Sally Smith must be replaced,” McGuire said in a statement on Thursday.
Buffalo Wild Wings’ annual meeting is expected in May.
The company’s shares were up 3.4 percent at $159.80 on Thursday in morning trade. (Reporting by Jessica Kuruthukulangara in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)