Who’s the boss? Activist investors drive changes at major chains

Who’s the boss? Activist investors drive changes at major chains

“Change will come. It’s only a matter of who brings it.”—Richard C. Breeden, hedge fund manager, Applebee’s stake-holder, former SEC chairman

For more than two years, the restaurant industry has witnessed and been affected by the heightened activity of a new breed of “activist investors.”

Those activists—often the heads of private-equity firms or hedge funds—are confident, vocal and sometimes larger than the companies they target. They also have successfully f

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