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TheStreet Open House

Cracker Barrel Questions Qualifications, Motives Of Biglari And Cooley In Bids For Board Seats

Stocks in this article: CBRL

The alternative is a vote for two self-nominated individuals – Sardar Biglari and Phil Cooley – who are pursuing not one, but two seats on our Board in what we believe is an attempt at creeping control of Cracker Barrel. After a failed attempt to gain a Board seat for himself last year, Sardar Biglari has returned with what we view as intemperate rhetoric, an unknown agenda and a record of poor corporate governance.

Mr. Biglari remains inexplicably insistent in his campaign against Cracker Barrel and our Board’s nominees – despite the addition of seven new directors in the past 18 months, our accomplishments on key financial and operational objectives and a 68.4% appreciation in the value of the Company’s shares since the initiation of our strategic priorities announced in September of last year 1. Our track record during this time, both at the Board level as well as with regard to ongoing execution of corporate objectives, leads us to ask the obvious questions – what is it that Mr. Biglari really wants and why?

First, we believe that Sardar Biglari’s true intentions may be to take control of Cracker Barrel without paying shareholders a premium.

Mr. Biglari himself has been candid that the primary objective of his acquisition vehicle through which he owns Cracker Barrel stock, Biglari Holdings, is about gaining control and exerting power. Consider the following:

“We, however, are control investors.” (BH Letter from the Chairman, 12/10/11)

“Biglari Holdings is a jockey stock. You are choosing the jockey; I am choosing the horses. It would be asinine to bet on the jockey and then deny him the saddle or whip.”

(BH Letter from the Chairman, 12/10/11)

After several meetings with management as well as the failed proxy fight last year, Mr. Biglari continues to produce rhetoric without tangible ideas or suggestions for what changes he believes are necessary. Moreover, he remains unwilling to work with us constructively, having turned down our offer to nominate two independent directors of his choosing – an offer we believe should have satisfied him if his desire was really for “shareholder representation.” From our perspective, however, it appears that he is not truly interested in representation, but rather is looking for a platform to pursue his own agenda and, potentially, to exercise creeping control resulting in a takeover without paying you an appropriate premium.

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