By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
Shaquille O’Neal has several food restaurants that he owns. This one; however, he doesn’t own, but he has been named to the Board of Directors.
The basketball legend was named to the Papa John’s Board of Directors. In addition, he was named as an investor in nine Papa John’s restaurants in Atlanta, Georgia.
“Shaquille has an excellent entrepreneurial background, including as a restaurant franchise owner,” Jeff Smith, chairman of the Papa John’s board, said in the company’s announcement.
O’Neal, like Smith, is attempting to help the struggling pizza company. Smith’s Starboard Value company recently invested $200 million in Papa John’s.
With the investment, Smith was named chairman of the Board. It is not clear if O’Neal made an investment, like Smith, to earn a spot on the Board of Directors, as well.
Besides being named to the Board of Directors of Papa John’s, the basketball icon owns a Krispy Kreme franchise in Atlanta, Georgia. He also owns a Big Chicken, a fast-casual restaurant in Las Vegas.
In addition, he owns Shaquille’s, a fine-dining restaurant in Los Angeles. This restaurant opened on March 9th at L.A. Live.
Papa John’s used to have founder John Schnatter as the face of the franchise. Since he stepped away from the company, Papa John’s has been using franchisees as the image.
The company recently settled their legal battle with Schnatter.
“Papa John’s is building a better culture, and I want to be a part of improving the company from the inside out,” O’Neal said in a statement.
Since the announcement of O’Neal on the Board of Directors, their stock price has risen by 6% on Friday morning. It is almost $50 a share, but still down from their best of $87 at the end of 2016.
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