FTC Fines Biglari Over Barrel Stock Purchase

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has fined Biglari Holdings US$1.4 million for its second violation of federal antitrust rules in less than a decade over purchases of Cracker Barrel stock.

In this case, the FTC has taken issue with purchases made in 2020 by a pair of Biglari Holdings subsidiaries, First Guard Insurance and Southern Pioneer Property and Casualty Insurance Company. 

The two subsidiaries acquired 55,141 shares of Cracker Barrel in March 2020. At the time, Biglari Holdings held 2 million shares of the family dining chain through the hedge fund owned by the company’s CEO, Sardar Biglari.

Because of the extensiveness of Biglari’s ownership of Cracker Barrel stock, federal antitrust rules require the investor to file with federal agencies and observe a waiting period before consummating the purchase. 

Federal regulators noticed the violation, and in June of 2020 Biglari Holdings corrected the error.

Yet, according to the FTC, this was Biglari Holdings’ second such violation regarding the purchase of Cracker Barrel stock. Biglari was fined US$850,000 in 2012 for violating disclosure rules on purchases of Cracker Barrel shares his company made a year earlier.

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