The Indianapolis Star – Steak n Shake parent set for a name change

The investor who took control of Steak n Shake wants to rename the Indianapolis cheeseburger chain’s parent company for himself.

Shareholders will vote at the annual meeting to rename their company Biglari Holdings Inc.

The parent is now called Steak n Shake Co., based in Indianapolis, and its restaurants are a subsidiary named Steak n Shake Operations Inc.

The proposed name change, disclosed in a filing last week with the Securities and Exchange Commission, follows Texas investor Sardar Biglari’s efforts to diversify outside the restaurant industry using cash from the burger business.

Under Biglari, the parent company’s chairman, Steak n Shake Co. launched a hostile takeover in December of a Michigan-based insurance company, Fremont Michigan InsuraCorp. Biglari earlier fell short in efforts to buy Itex, a West Coast bartering business, and the California-based burger chain Jack in the Box.

Renaming the parent could make it easier for Biglari to possibly spin off the Indianapolis-based restaurant chain in a few years without confusing shareholders, suggested restaurant industry analyst John Gordon, of Pacific Management Consulting Group, San Diego.

Steak n Shake’s annual meeting will be April 8 at the St. Regis Hotel in New York.

The burger chain, which has 485 sit-down eateries, surprised some analysts last week with its strong profit report.

After-tax income of $5.49 million was reported on revenue of $147.58 million. In the same period in 2008, Steak n Shake posted a loss of $3.44 million on revenue of $130.72 million.

Operating costs were relatively flat while sales revenue soared, Gordon said.

Call Star reporter Ted Evanoff at (317) 444-6019

To see more of the Indianapolis Star or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to

Copyright (c) 2010, The Indianapolis Star