John Schnatter told the Securities and Exchange Commission moments ago that he’d sold 44,174 Papa John’s shares for $3.4 million, the single-largest block he’s sold since he began aggressively selling at the start of the month; see table, below.
The filing shows he sold the shares at an average $76 each on Thursday. That brings to nearly 103,000 the number of shares he’s sold since Aug. 5, SEC documents show. Still, he remains far and away the single-biggest stockholder in the company he founded in 1984, with about 10.5 million shares, including those subject to options.
The company’s PZZA shares closed today at $75.36, up 91 cents, or 1.2%.
To paraphrase a famous misquote, what’s good for Gannett is good for its Courier-Journal subsidiary here in Louisville. That was the gist of Gannett’s argument in favor of its $815 million offer last spring for Tribune Publishing — now called Tronc, the parent company of The Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, seven other big dailies, and 160 smaller weekly and monthly niche titles and their more than 7,000 employees.
“As one company,” Gannett said April 25 in disclosing its surprise offer, “Gannett and Tribune would have the financial stability to continue maintaining journalistic excellence, independence, high standards and integrity for years to come.”
The immediate path to that goal would be the $50 million Gannett predicted the two companies would save if they consolidated overlapping functions, which means eliminating jobs in areas like finance, marketing and production, and through greater purchasing power for things like newsprint and technology.
Today, with the Tronc deal looking more likely than ever — a published report last week said the two companies are now just haggling over a considerably sweetened final price — it makes sense to turn to the possible impact on the CJ.
The Louisville paper is a much smaller operation than it was 10 years ago, before the newspaper industry cratered during the financial collapse. It’s no longer Kentucky’s dominant statewide paper, and its influence even in Louisville has diminished as other news outlets have started from scratch (Insider Louisville) or bulked up (WDRB and, just last month, LEO Weekly’s parent).
YUM shares traded at a 52-week high of $90.93 today, before easing back to close moments ago at $90.76. It’s all-time record high came May 20, 2015, when it traded for $95.90 a share (Google Finance).
AMAZON said this afternoon it plans to open a distribution center in Monee, Ill., an hour south of Chicago; it didn’t provide a timetable, however (press release). In the Louisville area, Amazon employs 6,000 workers at two centers, in Jeffersonville and in Shephardsville. More about the retailer’s area operations.
PIZZA HUT: Starting today, and just in time for the start of football season, Pizza Hut is serving medium pizzas in a Flick Football Field box, featuring a football field printed on top, detachable goal posts, football triangles and a scorecard. Flick football is a tabletop game played with a piece of paper folded into a small triangle. Players flick the “football” across a table, scoring points based on where the football lands. Adding a social media marketing component, the Yum unit is asking customers to share videos of their flick football skills for a chance to win free pizza from the chain’s $5 Flavor Menu. The promotion runs through Oct. 14. It follows Pizza Hut U.K.’s far more novel box less than two weeks ago: a very limited edition (as in just five) cardboard box with a workable DJ mixing board (CNBC).
PAPA JOHN’S and University of Kentucky men’s basketball coach John Calipari are teaming up to raise money for victims of the Louisiana flooding. Yesterday, Calipari announced the pizza chain would offer a large two-topping pizza for $10, with 10% of the proceeds going to the Calipari Family Foundation, earmarked for flooding victims (Today’s U Sports). Papa John’s founder John Schnatter has supported the foundation in the past, donating $53,000 since 2012 for its programs helping children.
KFC: In New Zealand, four people were arrested today after a massive brawl involving up to 100 students from rival schools erupted at a KFC fast food outlet in South Auckland. Weapons used included knives, chairs and bits of wood, a police spokesperson told NZME, and witnesses said the students involved both boys and girls, with some appearing to be less than 16 years old (7 News via Yahoo).
UPS: In Prattville, Ala., a UPS driver was taken to the hospital in stable condition after he was accidentally struck by a crossbow bolt fired by someone while he was driving. The driver wasn’t identified. The bolt went through his upper right arm and lodged in his right chest, according to an Autauga County Sheriff’s Office report. Investigators say 55-year-old Ronald Curtis Gantt has been charged with assault in last Thursday’s incident. Gantt told authorities he was taking part in target practice in his front yard when he shot the driver. Investigators are calling the incident an accident, but charged Gantt due to the reckless nature of his actions (Montgomery Advertiser).
News about business and culture in Louisville, Ky.