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John Schnatter keeps selling his Papa John’s stock

The chain’s founder and former CEO sold 250,000 more shares last week as he continues unwinding his holdings.
Photograph: Shutterstock

John Schnatter resumed selling his Papa John’s stock last week, selling 250,000 shares as the company’s founder and former CEO continued unwinding his holdings in the pizza delivery chain.

The company’s former chairman and longtime spokesman sold the stock for $10.7 million, according to federal securities filings last week.

The sales were Schnatter’s first since May, when he sold nearly 3.5 million shares in the company. The various stock sales have cut his holdings from 31% back in April to just more than 16%.

Stock in Papa John’s was up more than 1.5% Monday.

The stock sales continue Schnatter’s gradual unwinding of his relationship with the brand he founded in 1984—a downfall that began when he criticized the NFL over player protests during the national anthem in November 2017. He stepped down as CEO on Jan. 1, handing the job over to Steve Ritchie.

Schnatter's downfall spiraled out of control in July 2018, when he acknowledged using a racial slur during a conference call and then stepped down as chairman. The controversies sent the company reeling, and in February, it took a $200 million investment from hedge fund Starboard Value.

A month later, Schnatter agreed to step down as a company director and has been selling his stock since.

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