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Steak n Shake CEO woos investors in New York City

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Steak n Shake Co. doesn't operate a single restaurant in New York City, where it is hosting its annual meeting Thursday.

But the world financial capital is chock full of high-profile investors intrigued by CEO Sardar Biglari's plans to harvest cash from the 485-location restaurant chain and deploy it on other investments.

Biglari has gained credibility from a rapid turnaround of the struggling restaurant chain and its conversion into a holding company for a diverse portfolio of investments. Steak n Shake Co. acquired Western Sizzlin, another chain Biglari controlled, and has made a bid for a small Michigan insurance company.

A key item up for a vote at the annual meeting, at the tony St. Regis hotel, is whether to change the name of the publicly traded company to Biglari Holdings Inc., to better reflect its ownership of more than just the steakburger-focused restaurant chain.

Biglari already has moved the parent company's headquarters to San Antonio, where his Lion Fund hedge fund is based. The subsidiary company Steak n Shake Operations Inc. still has its operations in downtown's Century Building.

IBJ is covering the meeting live in New York City. For up-to-the-minute updates, follow IBJNews on Twitter and check back at IBJ.com.

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