Taylor v. Biglari

Two shareholders brought a shareholder derivative suit against the directors of an Indiana company, Biglari Holdings, that owns two restaurant chains, Western Sizzlin’ and Steak ‘n Shake, which operate some restaurants, and franchise others. They claimed that the board approved “entrenchment transactions,” intended to cement CEO Biglari’s control of the company and enrich him at the expense of other shareholders: the sale of an investment company to CEO Biglari and a stock offering. The plaintiffs characterized the board’s members as Biglari’s puppets and alleged demand futility: that it was a forgone conclusion that the board would not respond to their demands. The Seventh Circuit affirmed the district court's rejection of the claim. Given the stringency of the Indiana standard of demand futility and the lack of strong support for the plaintiffs’ claims to demonstrate that futility, the challenged transactions, individually or together, cannot be deemed so oppressive to shareholders as to create a substantial doubt that the transactions were the product of a valid exercise of business judgment by an unbiased and independent board. View "Taylor v. Biglari" on Justia Law