NPC International Inc., which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in July, has cancelled bidding procedures for roughly 1,300 Wendy’s and Pizza Hut restaurants, according to a court document filed this week.
The cancellation essentially paves the way for stalking-horse bidder Flynn Restaurant Group LLC to buy NPC’s assets, according to sources cited this week by the Wall Street Journal. In early November, San Francisco-based Flynn Restaurant Group, a large multi-unit restaurant operator, made a $816 million bid to buy substantially all of NPC’s assets.
Flynn Restaurant Group, which operates more than 1,200 Applebee’s, Taco Bell, Panera Bread and Arby’s restaurants, would more than double its portfolio.
CEO Greg Flynn declined to comment Tuesday.
The cancellation of the auctions come a few weeks after The Wendy’s Co. announced that it might oppose Flynn’s bid.
According to the WSJ, Wendy’s might “drop its opposition in return for an agreement by Flynn to invest tens of millions of dollars in NPC’s Wendy’s restaurants.”
However, Wendy's told NRN on Tuesday that the company "continues to be an active participant in the Chapter 11 sales process, including its continued pursuit of a consortium bid with a group of pre-qualified franchisees."
Other companies have also made bids prior to NPC canceling bidding procedures including GenRock Capital Management and Grand Mere Capital. Representatives from both companies confirmed with Nation's Restaurant News that they have formed a joint venture to bid on 951 Pizza Hut locations owned by NPC. The two companies are among the top 10 largest operators of Pizza Hut franchises in the U.S.
NPC declined to comment.
Media representatives for Yum Brands, the parent of Pizza Hut, did not return a request for comment.
Contact Nancy Luna at [email protected]
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Updated: This story was edited to include NPC's response and new information about previous bidders.