An Outback Steakhouse truck is parked outside a restaurant in New York.

Daniel Acker | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Outback Steakhouse Owner Shares blooming brands Friday rose 9% in premarket trading after an active investor exposure It has interests in a restaurant company.

Starboard Value now owns 9.9% of Bloomin’ shares, according to a regulatory filing.

In recent quarters, Bloomin’ sales growth has slowed. Earlier in August, the company reported that its US same-store sales rose only 0.8% in the second quarter as traffic at its restaurants slumped.

In addition to Outback, Bloomin’ also has Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill, and Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar.

As of Friday, Bloomin’ shares have gained 27% this year, pushing the company to a market value of more than $2.2 billion.

It’s unclear what changes Starboard plans to make to Bloomin’ Brands at this time. Previous activist investors who have targeted the company, including Jana Partners and Barrington Capital Group, have tried to pressure Bloomin to cut costs and spin off some of its brands.

Starboard Value has a proven track record of successfully transitioning restaurant companies. In 2014, Starboard took control Darden Restaurant’ Board and implemented several changes, such as improvements to Olive Garden’s breadsticks, that helped boost sales and stock.

More recently, the firm make a deal with Papa Johns In 2019 the pizza chain sought to end a dispute with disgraced founder John Schnatter and revive plunging sales due to his scandals. Earlier this year, Starboard CEO Jeff Smith stepped down from Papa John’s board as chairman, and the company bought back a majority of the investment firm’s shares.

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