A Papa John’s Turnaround?

Papa John's unit

After a tough six months or so, Papa John’s is breathing easier after securing a new investment from Starboard Value. The turnaround specialist will make a $200 million strategic investment in the pizza chain, with the option to add another $50 million through March 29. Starboard’s CEO, Jeffrey Smith, is taking over as chairman of Papa John’s board. Steve Ritchie will remain the chain’s CEO and join the board. Former chairman and CEO John Schnatter, who owns nearly 31% of the company’s stock, voted against the Starboard deal, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Starboard led a shareholder coup at Darden Restaurants in 2014, taking control of the board and pushing for operational changes. Smith served as chairman of Darden’s board until April 2016.

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