Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. (NASDAQ:CBRL) issued a statement rejecting the demand of activist investor, Sandar Biglari to start a sale process. The activist investors’ firm, Biglari Holdings, is the largest stockholder of the company with a 19.9% stake.
According to the country store and restaurant operators, its board of directors considered the recent filings and demand of Biglari to initiate a process to put itself for sale. However, the board concluded that continuing the existing business strategy is the “best course of action for the long-term best interest of the company and its shareholders.”
Cracker Barrel’s board disappointed with demand
In a statement, James W. Bradford, chairman of Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. (NASDAQ:CBRL) said the members of the board were disappointed with Biglari’s demand to call for a special meeting to vote for his proposal to begin a sale process and noted his defeat by substantial margin in three consecutive proxy fights.
“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,” said Bradford.
Biglari sent a letter to Bradford on Christmas Eve demanding the commencement of a sale process and to provide shareholders that ability to decide regarding the future of the company. The activist investor emphasized that earnings power of Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. (NASDAQ:CBRL) is “far too low” under his leadership.
According to Biglari, the performance of the current management of country store and restaurant operator appears to be successful because dismal performance of its former CEO. He said, “We firmly believe that neither you nor your management has a deep understanding of how substantial value can be created. It takes an entrepreneurial mind.”
Biglari wants third party licensing
Biglari Holdings Inc (NYSE:BH) also pointed out his firm desire to drive the board and management of Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. (NASDAQ:CBRL) to license products to third parties. According to him, the board claimed that the idea was part of its plan after realizing the benefits to its business. Biglari added that his firm is not interested in gaining credit. Its interest lies in making money. However, he emphasized that the management of the company will “have difficulty growing earnings through operating performance.” Biglari believed that selling Cracker Barrel will ”create immediate value for all.”