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


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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