Activist investor Engaged Capital plans proxy battle at Shake Shack -WSJ

Shake Shack store at the Woodbury Common Premium Outlets in Central Valley, New York

(Reuters) -Activist investor Engaged Capital is planning a proxy fight for three board seats at high-end burger chain Shake Shack, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Including swaps, Engaged has a roughly 6.6% stake in the chain, the report said.

The U.S.-based shareholder activist has determined ways to double the company's profitability within two years and believes the burger chain should get rid of its staggered board, which means that not all directors are up for election at the same time, according to the report.

"Our stock is up more than 50% year-to-date and we are well positioned to continue enhancing value for shareholders," a spokesperson for Shake Shack said in a statement sent to Reuters.

"We are executing our strategic plan and making substantial operational and financial progress."

Engaged has been in talks with the company's management for over six months and sent a letter to the board in March detailing its proposal for new directors and other changes to help boost the restaurant chain's lagging stock price without an agreement, the people told WSJ.

Engaged Capital did not respond to a request for comment.

(Reporting by Urvi Dugar in Bengaluru; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Tom Hogue)