Papa John's, Schnatter reach settlement agreement

Papa John's

Papa John's

He'll do so by the company's annual meeting at the end of April as long as the company finds a mutually agreed upon independent director.

After more than a year of chaos, Papa John's has reached a truce with its founder and former CEO John Schnatter. In January, he claimed a victory when a court ordered the board to give him some internal documents, including text messages related to his firing, which Papa John's had until then refused to share.

Struggling pizza chain Papa John's worldwide has reached an agreement with ousted founder John Schnatter, who agreed to step down from the company's board in exchange for helping pick his replacement.

He also said the company has agreed to drop a requirement that Starboard Value vote its shares in favor of Papa John's own board nominees. The founder also agreed to dismiss a DE lawsuit related to his exit from the chairman's seat. He resigned as chairman of the company on July 11 after he admitted to using a racial slur during a company conference call in May.

In exchange, Schnatter said that Papa John's agreed to remove a provision from its poison pill forbidding shareholders from "acting in concert".

A week ago, the company said that because of "recent events" it had incurred special charges previous year of more than $90 million related to, among other items, "re-imaging costs at almost all domestic restaurants" as it removed Schnatter's image from the company's logo.

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He stepped down as the company's chief executive in December of 2017, after drawing criticism for comments he made against National Football League leadership. Schnatter said he reserves the right to file additional lawsuit if "those documents reveal additional wrongdoing".

In its deal with Starboard, Papa John's added three positions on its board, bringing total membership to nine.

FILE PHOTO: The Papa John's store in Westminster, Colorado, U.S. August 1, 2017.

Last week the pizza chain said its North American same-restaurant sales fell 7.3 percent in 2018 and that sales would lag into the first half of 2019.

Throughout the controversies, Papa John's shares and sales have continued to suffer, while the company has incurred significant costs.

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