LEBANON, Tenn. (AP) — Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc. said Monday that a long-time board member won't seek another term and that it plans to shrink the size of its board. The restaurant chain operator also said that its board voted against adding shareholder Sardar Biglari and his ally to its slate of director nominees.
The Lebanon, Tenn., company said that Martha Mitchell, who has been on the board since 1993, plans to retire at the end of her term. As a result, it plans to shrink the number of directors on its board to nine.
The company also said that its board voted unanimously against including Sardar Biglari and Philip Cooley on its slate of director nominees for the 2013 annual meeting. The company has not disclosed the date for the meeting.
Biglari, who holds a 19.9 percent stake in the restaurant chain, has tried to obtain a seat on the board over the past two years but he's yet to be voted in by shareholders.
An affiliate of Biglari Holdings Inc. — The Lion Fund II LP — nominated Biglari and restaurant owner Philip Cooley for board seats. Biglari Holdings also runs the Steak n Shake and Western Sizzlin restaurant chains.
Cracker Barrel said that the election of Biglari and Cooley is not in the best interests of the company or its shareholders. The company noted its shareholders have twice voted against Biglari's election to the Cracker Barrel board. It also cited uncertainty over Biglari's ultimate agenda and potential conflicts of interest. It also noted the company's strong performance under the leadership of its current management team.
A representative for Biglari Holdings could not be reached immediately for comment.
Shares of Cracker Barrel, which operates 624 company-owned locations in 42 states, rose 41 cents to $100.94 in midday trading Monday.