News Source: www.dallasnews.com
Path clears for bankrupt franchisee to sell its Pizza Hut restaurants
News Source/Courtesy: www.dallasnews.com

Restaurant franchisee NPC International Inc. has settled all the major disputes that had threatened to hold up a plan to sell its Pizza Hut locations to Flynn Restaurant Group, lawyers told a federal bankruptcy judge Friday.

Pizza Hut attorney Charles Gibbs said during a video court hearing that the company expects to sign a so-called consent agreement in the next few days with Flynn, allowing the restaurateur to close a deal to buy NPC’s operations of the chain. When NPC filed for bankruptcy last year, it operated more than 1,200 Pizza Hut locations and nearly 400 Wendy’s Co. restaurants.

In November, NPC called off auctions for its Pizza Hut and Wendy’s restaurants because the offers were too low, an NPC lawyer said last month. Instead, the company entered settlement talks that ultimately led to the current deal. The agreement will see Flynn purchase the Pizza Hut locations, while a group of Wendy’s franchisees will buy the burger restaurants.

Wendy’s has agreed to be the backup buyer for the burger locations in case the agreement with franchise holders falls through, a lawyer for the fast-food chain said during the hearing.

Flynn had offered to buy the entire company in a deal worth about $816 million that would preserve 30,000 jobs, the company said in a Nov. 13 court filing. But the deal faced objections from Wendy’s because Flynn operates hundreds of competing restaurants including Arby’s Restaurant Group Inc. and Panera Bread Co. locations.

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News Source: www.dallasnews.com

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