Papa John’s, Wendy’s reportedly talked merger before John Schnatter’s N-word scandal
Wendy’s may have a hankering for Papa John’s.
Shares of both fast-food giants popped on Wednesday on reports that the two companies had held merger talks before the public relations crisis that engulfed Papa John’s last week.
The embattled pizza chain’s shares closed up 4 percent, to $53.60, on Wednesday, while Wendy’s closed up 2 percent, to $17.77.
Wendy’s, which ranks behind McDonald’s and Burger King for burger sales may be looking to step out of its comfort zone.
Wendy’s largest shareholder, Nelson Peltz’s Trian Fund Management, has been sniffing around for a pizza chain, according to restaurant analyst Mark Kalinowski, who wrote a research note last week speculating that Papa John’s could be a potential target.
“Peltz believes that market-share gains are to be had at the expense of weaker competitors,” Kalinowski said.
But ever since Papa John’s landed on the hot seat because of its Chairman and founder John Schnatter’s inflammatory racial comments, the talks with Wendy’s have cooled, according to The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the potential merger.
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