Pent-up capital, recent deals renew M&A momentum

NEW YORK —The restaurant industry’s merger-and-acquisition market is heating back up after a near blackout on buyouts caused by the credit crisis and the slumping economy.

Combine two recent multi-million-dollar deals for Church’s Chicken and CKE Restaurants with the rising temperature surrounding potential purchases of Hooters of America and Papa Murphy’s Take ‘N’ Bake Pizza. Add a sprinkle of investor activism at Denny’s Corp. and Red Robin Gourmet Burgers

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