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Actionable news in CMG: CHIPOTLE MEXICAN GRILL Inc,

Chipotle Expects to Meet Soon With Ackman After He Takes Stake

  • Investor announced 9.9 percent holding in chain on Tuesday
  • Chipotle has struggled to recover from E. coli outbreak

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. is getting to know activist investor Bill Ackman, who announced a 9.9 percent stake in the embattled restaurant chain Tuesday and vowed to push for changes.

Chipotle held a “brief” introductory call with Ackman on Wednesday and expects to meet with him soon, according to company spokesman Chris Arnold. “We certainly welcome the opportunity to engage in conversation with Mr. Ackman, just as we do with all of our investors,” Arnold said in an e-mail.

After a tumultuous year that included multiple foodborne-illness outbreaks, Chipotle is now in the cross hairs of a high-profile activist with a history of tangling with company executives and directors. Ackman, who runs hedge fund Pershing Square Holdings Ltd., could reignite efforts to shake up Chipotle’s nine-person board, which has been criticized for its slow response to a food-safety crisis and a lack of diverse viewpoints.

The Denver-based company has attempted to revive sales with a new marketing campaign, along with a rewards program, though a comeback has been slow to materialize. Adding to its woes, one of the company’s top four executives was recently indicted on...


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