Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. ("Cracker Barrel" or the "Company") (Nasdaq: CBRL) today announced that both Institutional Shareholder Services (“ISS”) and Glass, Lewis & Co. (“Glass Lewis”) have recommended that Cracker Barrel shareholders vote FOR all of the individuals nominated by the Company's Board of Directors for election to the Board at the Company's Annual Meeting of Shareholders on November 15, 2012. ISS and Glass Lewis are leading proxy voting advisory services whose recommendations are considered by major institutional investment firms, mutual funds and other fiduciaries throughout the country.
In endorsing the Cracker Barrel nominees, both ISS and Glass Lewis recommended that shareholders reject Biglari Holdings' nomination of Sardar Biglari and Phil Cooley. Cracker Barrel shareholders rejected a similar proxy challenge by Mr. Biglari last year.
- ISS stated: “As the most compelling explanation of the company’s resurgence is the leadership change and execution on the new strategic plan by the existing board and management team – and not suggestions of the dissident nominees in last year’s or this year’s proxy contest, however meritorious – it is clear the dissidents have not made a compelling case that change at the board level is warranted.”
- Similarly, Glass Lewis said: “Cracker Barrel appears to have dramatically improved its financial performance, while also taking concrete steps to remediate or eliminate several outstanding governance concerns. In response, we find the Dissident has resorted to decidedly less compelling quantitative arguments and abrasive commentary to support a vaguely-framed plan that, all other things equal, seems to work against a strategy that has objectively improved returns and transparency for Cracker Barrel shareholders.” 1
Sandra B. Cochran, president and chief executive officer of Cracker Barrel, said: “We are very pleased that both ISS and Glass Lewis, two highly respected proxy advisory services, are supporting our nominees to the Board and opposing Mr. Biglari and Mr. Cooley. I am especially gratified that ISS and Glass Lewis have recognized our accomplishments on key financial and operational objectives, the addition of seven new directors in the last 18 months, and the significant appreciation in the value of the Company’s shares since the initiation of our strategic priorities announced in September of last year.