Shares of Papa John’s soared Tuesday after The Wall Street Journal reported that activist hedge fund Trian Fund Management, which has a 13 percent stake in Wendy’s, was considering a takeover bid for the embattled pizza chain.
Papa John’s rose as much as 8.6 percent in morning trading Tuesday. The stock originally surged 16 percent in extended trading after the news broke Monday evening.
The company’s been exploring a sale and struggling to recover from its very messy public battle with founder and former Chairman and CEO John Schnatter. He lost his CEO job late last year after he criticized the NFL for its response to players who refused to stand during the national anthem and was ousted altogether in July after some controversial comments he made on a May conference call came to light.
Even before Schnatter’s controversy, Trian co-founder and Wendy’s Chairman Nelson Peltz brought him to a meeting with Wendy’s executives in June to discuss a possible deal.
Although Schnatter’s image has been scrubbed from Papa John’s marketing materials and he stepped down as chairman, he remains on the board and holds a nearly 30 percent stake in the company.
Representatives for Papa John’s and Schnatter both declined to comment.