Activist hedge fund Trian Fund Management is reportedly considering a takeover of Papa John’s International Inc. (PZZA), according to a report by the Wall Street Journal. Papa John’s has been looking for buyers since getting embroiled in a bitter fight with its founder John Schnatter who owns a 30% stake in the company.
Trian is not alone as several other entities are said to be interested in acquiring the pizza chain but there is no assurance that Trian will make a bid or that a sale will take place. Trian holds a 13% stake in The Wendy’s Company (WEN) and it is said that talks were held between Wendy’s officials and Schnatter earlier this year to discuss a potential deal.
Trian previously held a stake in Domino’s Pizza (DPZ) and played a part in bringing about various changes in the company’s operations.
Schnatter has been locked in a battle with Papa John’s board and management over controversies surrounding racism and NFL protests. He stepped down from his position as CEO last December and as chairman this July. He also filed a lawsuit against the company, which in turn has been replacing him in their marketing campaign.
For its most recent quarter, Papa John’s missed market estimates on its results and reduced its full-year 2018 outlook, which led to a crash of the stock. Following the takeover reports on Monday, the stock soared around 20%. On Tuesday, the stock rose over 8% and stood at $55 as of market close.