Papa John sells $107.5M slice of his Papa John's stock

Papa John’s founder John Schnatter just sold a big portion of his stake in the company.

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The former CEO sold 1.9 million shares of Papa John’s stock, worth $107.5 million, according to a Form 4 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday. He now owns about 2.9 million shares, valued at more than $166 million, or roughly 9.2 percent of the company.

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PZZAPAPA JOHNS INTL61.50+1.25+2.07%

Schnatter’s sale comes less than two weeks after he told FOX Business that he wants to turn around the struggling pizza chain. “I am the only person who can fix Papa John's," he said. "You are not going to fix Papa John’s without Papa John."

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The company's stock has fallen 3.6 percent since Schnatter stepped down as CEO in December 2017 following his criticism of the NFL's handling of national anthem protests by players, which he said hurt the league and curbed sales at Papa John's, which was a sponsor. Schnatter resigned as chairman in July 2018 after using a racial slur on a company diversity training call.

The pizza chain named Starboard Value CEO Jeffrey Smith as its chairman after his private-equity firm made a $200 million investment. In August, Papa John's appointed former Arby's President Rob Lynch as its new CEO.

Schnatter told FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo in September, in his first interview since stepping down, that he wasn’t forced to retire and that his comments were “misconstrued.”

Papa John’s is set to report its third-quarter results ahead of Wednesday’s opening bell. Lynch will make his first appearance on a company earnings call, which begins at 10 a.m. ET.

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Papa John’s shares rose 43.7 percent this year through Tuesday.