Papa John’s continuing efforts to overhaul its company’s reputation after its disgraced founder and former face, John Schnatter, dragged it through a latrine have once again been complicated by the stubborn Papa himself. Over the weekend, Schnatter, who blamed NFL player protests for bad pizza sales and then said the n-word on a company conference call, launched a last-ditch effort to gain control of a significant stake in the company when he attempted to outbid an international investment firm, with whom the Papa John’s board had all but finalized an agreement, the Courrier-Journal reported yesterday.
The newspaper wrote that after the investment company, Starboard, and Papa John’s neared an agreement on Friday for a $200 million stake of the pizza company, Schnatter leapt into action:
In a rundown of events, Schnatter says in a disclosure to the federal Securities and Exchange Commission that on Saturday, after learning about the proposed Starboard transaction, he sent a nonbinding offer to invest up to $250 million with an additional $10 million to spend on franchisees.
Schnatter’s bid included a lower dividend rate to reduce costs to the company and limit the voting rights provided to those who buy the newly issued shares. He also sought the right to name two more directors to the board.
Though the offer was rejected, the report says Schnatter “held out the possibility of legal action after a more thorough review.” Please, dear God in pizza heaven, let there be a prolonged Papa John’s vs. Papa John court battle.