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Jack-in-the-Box-Drive-Thru-Only-Tulsa-OK-Biglari-SEC-filings.jpg Jack in the Box Inc.
Sardar Biglari affiliates have filed federal documents about position in Jack in the Box Inc., which opened this off-premises-only unit in Tulsa, Okla., last year.

Sardar Biglari affiliates acquire more than 5.5% of Jack in the Box shares

Steak ‘n Shake-Western Sizzlin owner maintains holdings in family-dining Cracker Barrel

Sardar Biglari, the San Antonio, Texas-based owner of the Steak ‘n Shake and Western Sizzlin restaurant brands, has taken positions in Jack in the Box Inc., filing federal documents in February that indicate an ownership of more than 5.5% of the company’s shares.

The Feb. 10 filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission came just weeks before the San Diego, Calif.-based Jack in the Box’s annual shareholder meeting, which is scheduled for 8 a.m. PST Friday, March 3.

Biglari’s filings were Schedule 13G, an alternative filing for the Schedule 13D form and used to report a party's ownership of stock that exceeds 5% of a company's total stock issue.

In September, after Biglari waged at least five proxy battles, his holding company reached a truce with Lebanon, Tenn.-based Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc. and entered into a cooperation agreement.  Cracker Barrel agreed to expand its board to 11 directors and nominate Jody Bilney, one of Biglari’s chosen nominees, to the board effective immediately. In 2022, Biglari owned about 9.3% of Cracker Barrel’s shares.

As part of the Cracker Barrel deal, Biglari Holdings agreed to “standstill restrictions” that would be in effect until Feb. 24, 2024, which are intended to limit Biglari’s holdings in Cracker Barrel.

February’s Jack in the Box filings show Biglari owns more than 1.1 million shares of the burger brand, followed by Biglari Capital Corp. with about 1.1 million, The Lion Fund II L.P. with 931,183, and The Lion Fund L.P. with 142,700.

Biglari is the sole member, chairman and CEO of BCC, which is the general partner of Lion Fund and Lion Fund II.

Other Jack in the Box positions include Biglari Holdings with 61,217 shares, Southern Pioneer Property & Casualty Insurance Co. with 48,717 and First Guard Insurance Co. with 12,500.

Biglari’s companies took control of Steak ‘n Shake in 2008.

Biglari, in a Feb. 25 shareholder letter in which he called Biglari Holdings “a museum of businesses,” said; “At year-end, our three major investment holdings — Cracker Barrel, Ferrari and Jack in the Box — had a market value of $342.9 million. Adjusted for the corporation’s weighted 89.1% interest in its investment partnerships, these three securities represented about 56% of the net worth of Biglari Holdings.” 

Of the company’s restaurant holdings at the end of 2022, Biglari said they included 39 Western Sizzlin units, all but three franchised, and 506 Steak ‘n Shake units (177 company-operated, 175 with franchise partners and 154 as traditional franchised units). Steak ‘n Shake in 2020 switched from table-service, which it had offered for 86 years, to a self-service format, Biglari said.

As of Jan. 30, Jack in the Box had about 20.6 million shares of common stock outstanding.

Jack in the Box purchased the Del Taco brand for $585 million in March 2022. The company also opened its first off-premises-only restaurant prototype in Tulsa, Okla., in the fourth quarter last year.

For the fourth quarter ended Oct. 2, Jack in the Box reported net earnings of $45.9 million, or $2.17 a share, up from $39 million, or $1.80 a share, in the same period a year ago. Revenues in the third quarter rose to $402.8 million from $278.5 million in the prior-year period.

Same-store sales for Jack in the Box increased 4% in the fourth quarter and 0.9% for the full fiscal year. Del Taco same-store sales were up 5.2% in fourth quarter and up 3.9% for the full fiscal year.

As of Oct. 2, the Jack in the Box brand had 2,181 restaurants, including 146 company-owned and 2,035 franchised units, in 21 states. The company also owns the 591-unit Del Taco brand in 15 states.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected]

Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless

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