Biglari turned away again

Only about 10% of Cracker Barrel investors back activist's board bid

The majority of shareholders of Cracker Barrel Old Country Store have backed the company's slate of director candidates and denied the bid by activist investor Sardar Biglari to gain two board seats.

In a statement, Cracker Barrel said preliminary vote counting showed that more than 70 percent of all votes cast were for the Cracker Barrel-backed slate. Biglari, who owns about 18 percent of the Lebanon-based company, received the backing of about 10 percent of the company's other investors. A year ago, that number was about 19 percent.

Similarly, shareholders voted to renew the poison pill adopted by Cracker Barrel's board earlier this year, albeit less enthusiastically. The early count shows about 65 percent of votes cast backed the shareholder rights plan.

"We are gratified by our shareholders support, which was even stronger than last year," President and CEO Sandy Cochran said in the statement. "We believe that today’s vote reflects our shareholders’ recognition of the tremendous progress we have made [...] We appreciate our shareholders’ consideration and understanding of the issues at stake."

Shares of Cracker Barrel (Ticker: CBRL) were down a little more than 1 percent to about $61.20 in late-morning trading. Year to date, they're up about 20 percent but one industry watcher recently speculated the stock would suffer if Biglari were to lose a second proxy contest.