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BREAKING: Steak n Shake offers to acquire Michigan insurer

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The Steak n Shake Co. has offered to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Fremont Michigan Insuracorp Inc. in a deal that could be worth almost $37 million.

Indianapolis-based Steak n Shake is offering $24.50 per share, an 11.3 percent premium to Monday's closing price, for the more than 1.5 million shares it doesn't already own in the tiny Michigan insurer, which provides insurance to individuals, farms and small businesses.

Steak n Shake disclosed that it had purchased a roughly 10-percent stake in Fremont in October, shortly after CEO Sardar Biglari said he intended to transform Steak n Shake into a holding company to pursue purchases “either related or unrelated to its ongoing business activities.”

The company has not revealed its plans for Fremont, but observers say Biglari wants to use the firm's $60 million investment portfolio to fund more acquisitions, following in the footsteps of his investing hero, Warren Buffett.

Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway acquired its first insurer in the 1960s and now funds billions of dollars in investments through the portfolios of its insurance companies.

Biglari, a 32-year-old hedge fund manager, last week initiated a 1-for-20 reverse stock split that has elevated Steak n Shake shares above $290 apiece, the highest among listed restaurant companies. The move was another nod to Buffett; Berkshire A shares trade for about $99,000.

The Fremont deal would be the second major acquisition for Steak n Shake this year. In August, the company announced it was buying Virginia-based Western Sizzlin Corp.—another firm where Biglari is chairman and CEO—for $39 million.

The moves come on the heels of a fledgling turnaround for Steak n Shake, which this year snapped a 14-quarter streak of declining same-store sales.

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  1. So much for Eric Holder's conversation about race. If white people have got something to say, they get sued over it. Bottom line: white people have un-freer speech than others as a consequence of the misnamed "Civil rights laws."

  2. I agree, having seen three shows, that I was less than wowed. Disappointing!!

  3. Start drilling, start fracking, and start using our own energy. Other states have enriched their citizens and nearly elminated unemployment by using these resources that are on private land. If you are against the 'low prices' of discount stores, the best way to allow shoppers more choice is to empower them with better earnings. NOT through manipulated gov mandated min wage hikes, but better jobs and higher competitive pay. This would be direct result of using our own energy resources, yet Obama knows that Americans who arent dependent of gov welfare are much less likely to vote Dem, so he looks for ways to ensure America's decline and keep its citizens dependent of gov.

  4. Say It Loud, I'm Black and Ashamed: It's too bad that with certain "black" entertainment events, it seems violence and thuggery follows and the collateral damage that it leaves behinds continues to be a strain on the city in terms of people getting hurt, killed or becoming victims of crimes and/or stretching city resources. I remember shopping in the Meadows area years ago until violence and crime ended make most of the business pack you and leave as did with Lafayette Square and Washington Square. Over the past 10 to 12 years, I remember going to the Indiana Black Expo Soul Picnic in Washington Park. Violence, gang fights and homicides ended that. My great grandmother still bears the scares on her leg from when she was trampled by a group of thugs running from gun fire from a rival gang. With hundreds of police offices downtown still multiple shootings, people getting shot downtown during Black Expo. A number of people getting shots or murdered at black clubs around the city like Club Six on the west side, The Industry downtown, Jamal Tinsley's shot out in front of the Conrad, multiple fights and shootings at the skating rinks, shootings at Circle Center Mall and shooting and robberies and car jackings at Lafayette Mall. Shootings and gang violence and the State Fair. I can go on and on and on. Now Broad Ripple. (Shaking head side to side) Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Ashamed.

  5. Ballard Administration. Too funny. This is the least fiscally responsive administration I have ever seen. One thing this article failed to mention, is that the Hoosier State line delivers rail cars to the Amtrak Beech Grove maintenance facility for refurbishment. That's an economic development issue. And the jobs there are high-paying. That alone is worth the City's investment.

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