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Trian Fund Management exploring takeover bid for Papa John's

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Trian Fund Management exploring takeover bid for Papa John's

Trian Fund Management LP is considering a takeover bid for Papa John's International Inc., The Wall Street Journal reported Oct. 8, citing anonymous sources.

The activist hedge fund, which also owns a 13% stake in The Wendy's Co., recently reached out to the pizza company to collect information, according to the report.

According to the Journal, Papa John's has been exploring a sale, and there is no guarantee that Trian will make an offer for the company. Other potential bidders for the pizza chain include companies and private-equity firms, the news outlet reported.

Shares of Papa John's were up 11.68% to $56.31 in after-hours trading. The pizza chain did not immediately respond to S&P Global Market Intelligence's request for comment.

Papa John's founder John Schnatter resigned as chairman in July following a Forbes report that he used a racial slur during a media training conference call. Since then Schnatter has sued the company's board and CEO Steve Ritchie, saying they are causing "irreparable harm" to the company.

The Journal reported Oct. 8 that Nelson Peltz, Trian's co-founder and Wendy's chairman, in June invited Schnatter to a meeting with Wendy's executives to discuss a potential deal. In the meeting, Schnatter wanted to know how many seats he would have on the board of a combined company, according to the report.

In August, a special committee of independent directors at Papa John's publicly criticized Schnatter for holding a meeting with another restaurant company's executives without Ritchie.