Papa John's founder explores pizza chain stake sale

FILE PHOTO: John Schnatter, founder and chief executive of Papa John's Pizza, arrives at the 2011 American Music Awards in Los Angeles November 20, 2011. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok/File Photo

(Reuters) - Papa John International Inc’s founder John Schnatter is in talks with financial advisers for a possible sale of his stake in the company, a regulatory filing showed on Monday.

Schnatter, who owns about 31 percent of Papa John’s, stepped down from the company’s board last month, as part of a settlement resolving a bitter dispute for control of the world’s third-largest pizza chain.

The company has been working to fix its brand image after Schnatter reportedly used a racial slur on a media training conference call last year.

As part of the recovery, Papa John’s named former basketball star Shaquille O’Neal as a board member, brand ambassador and investor in March.

Reporting by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli