Papa John’s is plunging after report says private-equity firm is no longer interested (PZZA)
- Papa John’s was plunging, its stock down over 14%, on Tuesday after a report indicated that Trian Fund Management was no longer interested in buying the company.
- Other private-equity funds are said to be interested in partial stakes, according to The Wall Street Journal.
- In August, Papa John’s said it was exploring strategic alternatives, including a sale.
- Watch Papa John’s trade live.
Papa John’s was plunging Tuesday afternoon after a report suggested the private-equity firm Trian Fund Management was no longer interested in a deal.
Shares fell more than 12% after The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter, reported that Trian had pulled out of the bidding for the pizza chain and that no bidders were interested in buying the entire company. The Journal did say that several private-equity firms were interested in partial stakes. Bain Capital, CVC Capital Partners, KKR & Co., and Roark Capital are among the other firms that have been linked to the pizza chain.
Problems at Papa John’s date back to late last year, when the company’s founder, John Schnatter, accused the NFL of “poor leadership” and blamed player protests for a slump in pizza sales. He resigned as CEO in December after facing backlash for his criticism of the league.
Schnatter went on to resign as chairman in May after it was discovered that he used a racial slur during a company conference call. That contributed to a difficult year for the stock, which fell as much as 35% from May to early August.
In July, the company’s board of directors created a poison pill designed to prevent Schnatter — who still owned a 29% stake in the pizza chain — from taking the company back over.
The stock slid to a four-year low of $38.05 in August before recovering after the pizza chain announced it was reviewing its strategic alternatives, including a sale. It topped out at more than $60 in the middle of November before Tuesday’s plunge pushed it back below $50.
Papa John’s was down 14% this year.
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