An activist investor has called on Golden Valley-based Buffalo Wild Wings to oust CEO Sally Smith, but the sports-themed restaurant company has said no. The company's share price closed up 6 percent Thursday. Marcato Capital Management has been pushing Buffalo Wild Wings for improved financial and operational performance. 

The hedge fund had nominated a slate of four board directors for shareholders to vote on as part of the company's still-to-be-scheduled annual meeting. 

Earlier this week Marcato offered to withdraw that slate if Buffalo Wild Wings agreed to remove Smith and accept two of the nominees, Mick McGuire, Marcato's managing partner, and Sam Rovit, an industry veteran who is acceptable to the company. 

According to a Marcato regulatory filing Thursday, Buffalo Wild Wings rejected that proposal saying that "adding Mr. McGuire to the Board was unacceptable...."

Marcato says it owns a 6.1 percent stake in Buffalo Wild Wings. The hedge fund contends the company should divest more of its company-owned stores and franchise them because the chain's franchise owners run restaurants better than the company does.

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