Red Lobster Chain Put Up for Sale

A drag on company's earnings


Darden Restaurants has put its ailing Red Lobster chain up for sale, in an attempt to defuse an activist shareholder campaign and to rid itself of a worsening drag on its earnings.

The company, whose other brands include US mid-market staple Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse, also promised to expand a cost-savings drive and to change the way it pays executives.

The moves, which were the result of a board review conducted with the help of Goldman Sachs, demonstrate the increasingly swift impact that activist investors can have on a company's strategy.