Sardar Biglari of Biglari Holdings, Inc (BH), the value-fund parent company of Steak-n-Shake and Western Sizzlin’, was profiled in yesterday’s New York Times. I am a huge fan of Biglari’s and highly recommend reading his investor letters, found here.
An upstart investor who has become known for knock-down, drag-out proxy fights, Mr. Biglari, 34, lost an election to the board of Cracker Barrel, the restaurant chain based in Tennessee. The ordeal involved searing letters, a contentious board election and no shortage of harsh words — the same playbook he used to gain control of Steak ’n Shake in 2008.Read the rest of the article here (with some classic Biglari quotes).
Mr. Biglari, the chairman of Biglari Holdings, the publicly traded investment vehicle that controls Steak ’n Shake and several other businesses, is one of a small army of investors who have styled themselves after Warren E. Buffett, the celebrated chairman of Berkshire Hathaway.
The two men share a birthday (Aug. 30), a corporate monogram (BH) and a fondness for burger-and-ice-cream joints (Berkshire Hathaway owns Dairy Queen). At a market value of $500 million, Biglari Holdings operates on a much smaller scale, but both investors have succeeded in buying undervalued businesses, fixing them up and letting shareholders reap the benefits.
But like many of Wall Street’s Buffett simulacra — a group that includes the money managers Edward S. Lampert and Bruce R. Berkowitz — Mr. Biglari has developed his own style. In recent years, he has de-emphasized Mr. Buffett’s passive investment strategy and gone after the boards of companies that he believes are underperforming, including Friendly’s, a restaurant chain; Fremont Insurance, based in Michigan; and a beauty products company, CCA Industries.
What do you think of Sardar Biglari?