Restaurant chain Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc board chairman James Bradford on Monday responded to Sardar Biglari’s recent demands the company be put up for sale. Bradford has rejected activist investor and top shareholder Sardar Biglari’s demand to sell itself.
Cracker Barrel said its board considered Biglari’s demand to start a sale process, but decided to continue with existing strategy for the “long-term best interests” of the restaurant chain and its shareholders. Biglari said he would consider selling his entire stake in Cracker Barrel because of the company’s decisions. The investor pointed to Cracker Barrel’s recent handling of the Duck Dynasty controversy as an example of management’s poor judgment on business matters.
Biglari Holdings has been pushing for change claiming that Cracker Barrel has been under performing for over two years now. Stating that new management would lead to better financial gains.
Cracker Barrel shares fell 1 percent to $110.17 on Monday on the Nasdaq. Biglari Holding shares were down 0.7 percent at $514.20 on the New York Stock Exchange.
Bradford said in a statement the board determined the continued execution of the Lebanon-based company’s existing business strategy is “currently the proper course of action for the long-term best interests of the company and its shareholders.”
“We are disappointed that Mr. Biglari is seeking to call a special meeting to vote on a proposal requesting that the company commence a sale process, particularly in light of his defeat by substantial margins in three consecutive proxy contests,” Bradford said in a statement. “Cracker Barrel’s board of directors continues to believe that the execution of management’s existing business strategy will create the most value for all shareholders. The board regularly evaluates all options to serve the best interests of the company and its shareholders and will continue to do so.”
Sardar Biglari is an entrepreneur and value investor, and is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Biglari Holdings Inc., a holding company that trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol BH. Biglari is also Founder, Chairman and CEO of Biglari Capital, the general partner to The Lion Fund. He started his company at the age of 18 with $15,000 and today it has over 22,000 employees.
Cracker Barrel was established in 1969 in Lebanon, Tennessee and operates 625 company-owned locations in 42 states.