Eight years ago, Julia Stewart led IHOP’s more than $2 billion acquisition of Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar to create DineEquity Inc., parent company to both brands.
It was a big chunk of debt for the smaller-cap IHOP to take on at the time, and it was 2007.
A few months later the Great Recession hit. Industry watchers predicted trouble for the newly born DineEquity.
Then Stewart proved the naysayers wrong.
After steadily selli