The Deal: Biglari Plans Offer for Cracker Barrel

NEW YORK (The Deal) -- If you want something done right, do it yourself.

At least that is what it appears Sardar Biglari is saying to Cracker Barrel Old Country Store (CBRL).

The activist investor said in a Tuesday, Dec. 24, regulatory filing that he is considering making a bid for the Lebanon, Tenn.-based casual dining chain if its board does not initiate an auction process.

Biglari said that he is working with an investment bank to arrange financing in order to complete a deal.

However, Biglari, whose investment firm Biglari Capital (a subsidiary of Biglari Holdings (BH)) has a nearly 20% holding in Cracker Barrel, faces at least one hurdle that is preventing him from making a buyout bid. According to his letter, Tennessee law restricts him from bidding on the company because of the size of his stake, so Biglari wants the board to back him in seeking an amendment to the law that will allow him to move forward with a bid.

"We believe Cracker Barrel's assets would be far more productive under our leadership than in the hands of present leadership," Biglari wrote in his letter. "We are willing to purchase the business because we perceive a significant upside under our management."

Aside from a sale, Biglari is also calling for Cracker Barrel to do a share repurchase. He is not ruling out selling his stake either because he has no confidence in Cracker Barrel's current management led by CEO Sandra Cochran. Biglari also threatened to call for a special shareholders meeting if Cracker Barrel does not meet his demands.

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