TRIAN FUND WANTS A SLICE..evaluating a takeover bid for Papa John’s International Inc – By Todd Horwitz, Bubba Trading


Takeover Bid

Trian Fund Management LP is evaluating a takeover bid for Papa John’s International Inc., people familiar with the matter said. The activist hedge fund recently contacted the pizza chain to collect information as it explores a possible bid, the people said. Trian is one of several parties to express interest since Papa John’s put itself up for sale amid an acrimonious fight with its founder, John Schnatter, who remains on the board and owns nearly 30% of the company’s shares.

There is no guarantee that Trian will make an offer or that Papa John’s will ultimately be sold. There are several other potential bidders, some people familiar with the situation added, including companies and private-equity firms.

Trian, which owns a roughly 13% stake in Wendy’s Co. and holds three seats on the burger chain’s board, is known for working with the management of struggling companies. Nelson Peltz, Trian’s co-founder and Wendy’s chairman, invited Mr. Schnatter in late June to meet the burger company’s leaders to discuss a possible deal.

Mr. Schnatter brought Papa John’s chief development officer, Tim O’Hern, with him to the June meeting rather than Chief Executive Steve Ritchie, with whom he was fighting, according to people familiar with the matter. Messrs. Schnatter and O’Hern flew by helicopter to meet Wendy’s Chief Executive Todd Penegor at a private airport in Columbus, Ohio, where Wendy’s is based. Mr. Schnatter, wearing a red shirt emblazoned with the Papa John’s logo, wanted to know how many seats he would have on the board of a combined company, according to one person familiar with the meeting.

Mr. Schnatter stepped down as chairman in July after reports leaked that he had used a racial slur on a company marketing call. Mr. Schnatter’s relations with the board and management began to unravel last fall, when he drew criticism on social media for blaming Papa John’s poor sales on the National Football League’s handling of players’ protests during the national anthem. He resigned as chief executive in December.

Todd “Bubba” Horwitz


Financial Markets and Political Commentary



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Todd Horwitz - Author of “Average Joe Options“. Todd began his trading career in 1980 at the CBOE. He was one of the original traders in the OEX & helped start the SPX. He is a member the CME where he trades S&P futures as well as foreign currencies & is a regular contributor to CNBC, Bloomberg, BNN, Fox & many other major news networks.