SAN ANTONIO – Steak 'n Shake has signed a new development agreement with AB Holdings to open 50 restaurants throughout Saudi Arabia. AB Holdings is a multi-industry conglomerate that has built and operated numerous commercial, industrial, and residential projects.

"We are thrilled to be in partnership with Steak 'n Shake and are excited to have a long-term cooperative relationship," Eng. Faisal Abdullah Al Blehed, CEO of AB Holdings. "To us, this partnership stands as a testament to our continuous strategy of new acquisitions to bringing the best of restaurant brands to the Kingdom. We look forward to building and developing great restaurants that deliver the highest quality of food operations and service in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia."

Steak 'n Shake, which is owned by Biglari Holdings Inc., said the deal is part of the chain's plan to raise its international presence. The burger chain expects to open its first restaurant in Riyadh during the first half of 2014.

"I am honored to be partners with AB Holdings, an experienced multi-industry company ideally suited to bring Steak 'n Shake to Saudi Arabia," said Sardar Biglari, chairman of Biglari Holdings. "Combining a great brand with a great partner, I am convinced, will bring about great results. The partnership with AB Holdings is an outstanding step in our continuous endeavor to become a global brand. We now have forged a forceful beginning in the Middle East with total commitments for 90 restaurants."

Steak 'n Shake was founded in 1934 in Normal, Ill. The fast casual chain specializes in the "better burger" segment. The chain includes more than 500 restaurants.