The Indianapolis Star – Steak n Shake Merger Big for CEO

IN $22.9M DEAL, CHAIN TO BUY WESTERN SIZZLIN, WHICH BIGLARI ALSO LEADS engineering,” said Gordon, of Pacific Management Consulting in San Diego. “In terms of ongoing business streams, I’d be looking for any synergies, but I don’t think there will be. These STEAK N SHAKE WHAT: Full-service, casual-dining restaurants famous for Steakburgers and shakes. HEADQUARTERS: Indianapolis. HISTORY: Gus Belt started Steak n Shake in 1934 in Normal, III. EMPLOYEES: 20,000 (2008). CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER: Sardar Biglari. LOCATIONS: 490 restaurants in 21 states; 70 locations in Indiana. 2008 NET SALES: $610 million. 2008 NET INCOME: ($23 million) loss. WESTERN SIZZLIN WHAT: Known for their flame-grilled steaks and fully stocked salad bars. HEADQUARTERS: Roanoke, Va. HISTORY: Nick Pascarella opened his first restaurant in 1962 in Augusta, Ga., and began franchising four years later. EMPLOYEES: Not available. CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER: Sardar Biglari. LOCATIONS: 125 locations in 19 states. None in Indiana. 2008 NET SALES: $17.2 million. 2008 INCOME: ($6.3 million) loss. Biglari was fresh from the takeover of Western Sizzlin in 2007 when he launched a proxy fight for control of struggling Steak n Shake. The young investor, then 29, spent more than $16 million to amass a block of stock used to force out the Indianapolis company’s senior executives and place himself at the top in June 2008. Since then, Steak n Shake has trimmed its menu, focused on burgers, introduced lower-priced meals and begun sprucing up its white-tile eateries. The company earned $2.2 million in the quarter ending April 8 after running up losses totaling $22.4 million over the previous nine months. Reflecting the uptick in profits, Biglari’s annual salary rose in June to $900,000 from $280,000. But the bigger payoff could come in the merger. Under the terms of the deal, each share See Steak, Page A9