June 22, 2017 / 2:56 PM / 2 years ago

Exclusive - Activist investor wants Potbelly to change strategy or explore sale

(Reuters) - Potbelly Corp (PBPB.O) is under pressure from an activist shareholder that wants the sandwich chain to change its strategy or explore the sale of the company, according to a letter obtained by Reuters.

Ancora Advisors LLC, which said it owns 4 percent of Potbelly shares, outlined steps it wants the company to take to boost its share price, including franchising more of its restaurants. It said it should explore a sale if it does not go through with these proposed changes.

“We would strongly urge it to immediately pursue a sale/ going-private transaction, as we do not believe the current strategy would be attractive for current or potential public/minority shareholders over any investable time frame,” Ancora said in the letter, which was sent to the board.

Potbelly, a chain of sub and sandwich shops based in Chicago with a $276 million (218 million pounds) market capitalisation, did not immediately respond to a phone call seeking comment.

Reporting by Michael Flaherty in New York; Editing by Bernadette Baum

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