Papa John’s Accepts $200 Million Investment From Activist Hedge Fund

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“Papa John’s International Inc. is handing over the keys to the embattled pizza chain in exchange for a $200 million investment.

Activist fund Starboard Value LP is supplying the funds and its chief executive officer, Jeffrey Smith, is becoming chairman. He steps into the role vacated last year by Papa John’s founder John Schnatter after reports emerged that he used a racial slur. Schnatter tried to make his own similar deal and said he was shot down.

The infusion comes as the pizza chain also reported preliminary results for the fourth quarter and last year that missed analysts’ estimates. The company had already been in a sales slump before the latest controversy began last summer. Papa John’s plans to use the proceeds to repay debt and invest in the business, it said in a statement. Starboard is making its investment through the purchase of new convertible preferred stock, and the deal includes the option of an additional $50 million investment.

Shares of Papa John’s gained as much as 11 percent to $42.74 in New York trading Monday, the biggest intraday jump since July.”

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Yankee Stadium, Barclays Center Respond To Report Claiming They’re Among The Dirtiest Sports Venues

A bombshell report released by ESPN’s Outside The Lines pored through and analyzed nearly 17,000 food safety inspection reports from 2016 and 2017 conducted by the local health departments which oversee the 111 arenas where every team from the four major North American sports hosts its games. OTL found that in 28% of the arenas, at least half of the outlets inside these venues incurred what ESPN called a “high-level violation — one that poses a potential threat for food-borne illness.”

In the New York City area, where we’ll focus this report, findings were mixed for the six arenas which house teams in North America’s largest and most lucrative market.
Of all 30 Major League Baseball teams inspected in this ESPN report, none fared worse than Yankee Stadium. The new-era cathedral in the Bronx ranked 102nd out of the 111 venues, with 34 of 43 outlets at the Stadium reporting high-level violations, a whopping 79.07%.

Read more here.