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WSJ: Trian Fund Mulls Takeover Bid For Papa John's


Activist investor Nelson Peltz's Trian Fund Management, L.P. is exploring a takeover bid for pizza chain Papa John's International Inc. (PZZA), the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter. Shares of Papa John's are gaining more than 6 percent in Tuesday's regular trading session.

The activist hedge fund, which holds a 13 percent stake in Wendy's Co. (WEN), recently contacted Papa John's to collect information as it explores a possible bid, according to the WSJ report. The pizza chain has been embroiled in a dispute with its founder John Schnatter for the last several months.

Schnatter stepped down as chair of the company's board in July, after it was reported that he used a racial slur and other inflammatory languages during a conference call that was arranged between Papa John's executives and marketing agency, Laundry Service.

According to the WSJ report, Trian is one of the several parties to express interest in Papa John's after it put itself up for sale amid its dispute with Schnatter.

Schnatter, who remains on the company's board and owns 29 percent of the shares, has said he would not give up the control of the company without a fight.

There are said to be several other potential bidders for Papa John's, including companies and private-equity firms.

Louisville, Kentucky-based Papa John's is the world's third-largest pizza delivery chain after Domino's Pizza Inc. (DPZ) and Yum Brands Inc.'s (YUM) Pizza Hut. Founded by Schnatter in 1984, the company has more than 5,000 locations in 45 countries.

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