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Steak n Shake decides against a sale

INDIANAPOLIS Steak n Shake Co. said late Thursday that it would not seek a sale of the company and instead would focus its efforts on a turnaround of the struggling 490-unit chain.

Initiatives to drive sales at the family-dining chain, which reported a 9.5-percent same-store sales drop in its latest quarter, will include the promotion of value-centric offerings, like a $2.99 double Steakburger and fries combo that started this month. Store-level economic will be the company’s key focus, it said.

After a strategic review, Steak n Shake’s corporate board said the buyout offers it received did not match what it believed to be the “full underlying value” of the company. The process, the company said, was adversely affected by unfavorable trends in casual dining, Steak n Shake’s recent weak operating performance and volatility in the financial markets.

The company did say it continues to receive inquires from interested parties. A search for a permanent chief executive also is ongoing, it said. Steak n Shake chairman Alan Gilman has been serving as interim chief executive since Peter Dunn resigned last year.

Steak n Shake’s strategic review was sparked in part by activist shareholder Sardar Biglari, who through his funds holds nearly 9 percent of Steak n Shake’s stock. Biglari and a colleague have nominated themselves to Steak n Shake’s board, and elections are slated to take place next month.

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