Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Popeyes, Church's Fried Chicken in Bankruptcy

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Popeyes, Church's Fried Chicken in Bankruptcy

Article excerpt

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Popeyes, Church's Fried Chicken in Bankruptcy SAN ANTONIO - Another big 1980s takeover deal has turned sour, as the owner of Popeyes Famous Fried Chicken and Church's Fried Chicken was forced into bankruptcy proceedings by creditors owed nearly $400 million.

Creditors led by Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and Merrill Lynch & Co. filed an involuntary Chapter 11 petition Thursday against Al Copeland Enterprises Inc.

The action follows six months of negotiations between Copeland and the creditors who bankrolled his $392 million purchase of Church's in 1989.

The creditors said they hope the filing will speed a recapitalization that leads to repayment of $390 million.

Copeland Enterprises operates the second-largest fried chicken chain in the nation behind Kentucky Fried Chicken, with about 2,000 Church's and Popeyes outlets. Annual sales are about $415 million.

AT&T, NCR Talks Stall NEW YORK - Negotiations between AT&T and NCR Corp. on the phone company's takeover bid for the computer maker have stalled, AT&T said Friday, and the tone of statements issued by the companies indicated their relationship has deteriorated.

``There are no talks scheduled,'' said American Telephone & Telegraph Co. spokesman Walter Murphy. He said the chairmen of the two companies met briefly Thursday, but ``there did not seem to be any opening of any doors at all.''

In response, NCR issued a sharply worded news release that took AT&T to task for disclosing the meeting between AT&T Chairman Robert E. Allen and NCR Chairman Charles E. Exley Jr.

``We believe it is inappropriate to violate the specific understanding between Chuck Exley and Bob Allen that neither NCR nor AT&T would issue any statements to the press regarding their meeting yesterday,'' NCR said.

It added that ``we will have no further comment except to caution that the one-sided information the media is receiving should not be relied upon. …

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