The battle over Papa John's may finally be over

John Schnatter will resign from the Papa John’s board of directors as part of a settlement between the pizza company and its founder.

Schnatter also agreed to dismiss two lawsuits against Papa John’s, a court filing says.

Papa John’s will work with Schnatter to find an independent director, who would not be affiliated to hedge fund Starboard Value or Schnatter, records show.

Schnatter will resign from the board if the independent director is appointed before the company’s April 30 annual stockholder meeting, Papa John’s said in a filing.

Last July, Papa John’s stock plummeted and its brand was badly tarnished after reports that Schnatter had used a racist slur during a media training session led by a New York marketing contractor.

Starboard Value: Papa John’s stock jumps after $200 million investment

Report: Papa John’s wants to sell equity stake in the company

He resigned as chairman but had remained on the board of directors.

In February, Papa John’s accepted a move by New York-based investment fund Starboard Value LP to buy a $250 million stake in the company and named the hedge fund’s CEO Jeffrey Smith as chairman of the Papa John’s board of directors.

The settlement marks an apparent end to Schnatter’s battle to keep a seat on the company’s board of directors.

Papa John’s said in a filing that Schnatter agreed to dismiss a lawsuit against the company in Delaware without prejudice and one in Jefferson County, Kentucky, related to a sublease agreement with prejudice.

Reach Billy Kobin at bkobin@courierjournal.com or 502-582-7030.

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Papa John's founder John Schnatter.December 19, 2012Papa John’s founder John Schnatter. December 19, 2012 Michael Clevenger/The Courier-JoFullscreenJohn Schnatter of Papa John's PizzaJohn Schnatter of Papa John’s Pizza , Larry Spitzer/Courier Journal Fullscreen--   Papa John's Pizza founder John Schnatter chattedPapa John’s founder John Schnatter chats in the hall after a seminar speech at the Galt East in Louisville.- Sept. 24, 1996 Paul Schaumann/Courier JournalFullscreenJohn 'Papa John' Schnatter.John ‘Papa John’ Schnatter. file photoFullscreen--  TEXT:M     Louisville-based Papa John's InternationalPapa John’s International marked the opening of its 3,000th store by giving away fresh tomatoes and pizza slices in New York.-
-CEO Nigel Travis and Chairman John Schnatter also took part in a ceremonial opening of Nasdaq Stock Market trading as part of the festivities, and the company donated $20,000 and fresh produce to City Harvest, an organization that feeds the hungry in New York. Copyright 2005 The Courier Journal, No Courier JournalFullscreenJohn Schnatter, founder of Papa John's Pizza standsJohn Schnatter, founder of Papa John’s Pizza stands on a staircase in the lobby of the company’s headquarters. By Pat McDonogh, The Courier-Journal. Jan. 26, 2016. By Pat McDonogh/The Courier JournalFullscreenPapa John's founder John Schnatter tastes a spoonfulPapa John’s founder John Schnatter tastes a spoonful of pizza sauce May 20, 1997. Michael ClevengerFullscreenPapa John's Pizza founder John Schnatter told AnchoragePapa John’s Pizza founder John Schnatter told Anchorage residents at a special meeting that he plans to build a walking trail from the center of the city to E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park, regardless of whether the city sells him the five-acre Bellewood property. Photo by Chris Otts April 2007.
*date of photo is unknown Chris Otts/The Courier JournalFullscreenJohn Schnatter, (right) Founder of Papa John's Pizza,John Schnatter, (right) Founder of Papa John’s Pizza, talked with Tracy Proffit (left) Chef Douglas Bond (left center) and Terry Lewis manager of the campus restaurant in Louisville. -March 28, 2009 Chris Hall/The Courier JournalFullscreenJohn Schnatter received a national award for the two-mileJohn Schnatter received a national award for the two-mile public trail Schnatter built on his property in Anchorage earlier this year. – Nov. 25, 2008. Kylene Lloyd/The Courier JournalFullscreenJohn Schnatter received a national award for the two-mileJohn Schnatter received a national award for the two-mile public trail Schnatter built on his property in Anchorage earlier this year. – Nov. 25, 2008. KYLENE LLOYDFullscreenSchnatter drove the car into the company lobby.  PapaPapa John’s founder, John Schnatter, recovered the 1971 Camaro he sold years ago to support his business. –
Aug. 25, 2009 Michael Hayman/The Courier JournalFullscreen--Caption: Papa John's CEO John Schnatter, left,Papa John’s CEO John Schnatter, left, and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones announced a joint venture yesterday at the Cowboys’ camp. – Aug. 3, 2004, in Oxnard, Calif. Jones announced a joint venture in the Dallas, Austin and Waco, Texas markets with Papa John’s International, Inc. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez) Tony Gutierrez, Copyright 2004 The Courier-Journal;NO COURIER-JOURNALFullscreen--Text Staff photo by Mary Ann Lyons, May 20, 1999PapaPapa John’s founder and CEO John Schnatter spoke to shareholders during the annual meeting.Mary Ann Lyons, May 20, 1999 Mary Ann Lyons, Copyright 1999 The Courier-Journal;YES COURIER-JOURNALFullscreenPapa John's Founder, Chairman and CEO John SchnatterPapa John’s Founder, Chairman and CEO John Schnatter gets a kick out of seeing his image on the NASDAQ tower in New York’s Times Square, Friday, Sept. 14, 2012, while celebrating the opening of the brand’s 4,000th global restaurant. Diane Bondareff/AP ImageFullscreenJohn Schnatter, founder of Papa John's Pizza. Oct.John Schnatter, founder of Papa John’s Pizza. – Oct. 2, 2017 Sam Upshaw Jr./The Courier Journal FullscreenLouisville's interim AD talks with U of L board ofLouisville’s interim AD talks with University of Louisville board of trustees member John Schnatter at the Cardinals game against Bellarmine. – Nov. 11, 2017 Scott Utterback/The Courier Journal FullscreenIn this file photo from 2016, John Schnatter placedIn this file photo from 2016, John Schnatter placed a pie in the oven at the headquarters’ kitchen. – Jan. 26, 2016. Pat McDonogh/The Courier JournalFullscreenIn this file photo, John Schnatter, founder of PapaIn this file photo, John Schnatter, founder of Papa John’s Pizza, is seen making a pizza in the kitchen of his company’s headquarters. – Jan. 26, 2016. Pat McDonogh/The Courier JournalFullscreenPapa John's founder John Schnatter salutes anotherPapa John’s founder John Schnatter salutes another board member before the start of the Wednesday meeting to decide Tom Jurich’s fate at the University of Louisville. – Oct. 18, 2017 Matt Stone/The Courier JournalFullscreenJohn Schnatter, left, CEO of Papa John's Pizza, arrivesJohn Schnatter, left, CEO of Papa John’s Pizza, arrives for a UofL for Board of Trustees meeting escorted by Buddy Dumeyer outside Grawemeyer Hall. – Oct. 2, 2017 Sam Upshaw Jr./The Courier JournalFullscreenJohn SchnatterJohn Schnatter, founder of Papa John’s Pizza The Courier Journal file photoFullscreenJohn SchnatterJohn Schnatter, founder of Papa John’s Pizza. -June 19, 2017 Provided by Delta DentalFullscreenJohn Schnatter, board member at the UofL Foundation,John Schnatter, board member at the University of Louisville Foundation, during the first meeting since an audit blasted the organization. Matt Stone/The Courier JournalFullscreenPapa John's Pizza founder John Schnatter talks withPapa John’s Pizza founder John Schnatter talks with other board members after the University of Louisville Wednesday. Schnatter did not speak during Wednesday’s meeting. Previously he brought up concerns with the University of Louisivlle athletic department. April, 26, 2017. Matt Stone/CJFullscreenJohn Schnatter speaks during a press conference atJohn Schnatter speaks during a press conference at the Louisville Zoo on Thursday morning. Thanks to a $1 million gift from the John H. Schnatter Family Foundation, the zoo’s Leadership Campaign exceeded it’s goal of $10.4 million for a final raised amount of $11.44 million. -Feb.9, 2017 Michael Clevenger/The Courier JournalFullscreenJohn Schnatter looks over renderings of a new exhibitJohn Schnatter looks over renderings of a new exhibit on Thursday morning at the Louisville Zoo with Zoo Director John Walczak. Thanks to a $1 million gift from the John H. Schnatter Family Foundation, the zoo’s Leadership Campaign exceeded it’s goal of $10.4 million for a final raised amount of $11.44 million. -Feb. 9, 2017 Michael Clevenger/The Courier JournalFullscreenJohn Schnatter speaks during a press conference atJohn Schnatter speaks during a press conference at the Louisville Zoo on Thursday morning. Thanks to a $1 million gift from the John H. Schnatter Family Foundation, the zoo’s Leadership Campaign exceeded it’s goal of $10.4 million for a final raised amount of $11.44 million. -Feb. 9, 2017 Michael Clevenger/The Courier JournalFullscreenPapa John's founder John Schnatter laughs aloud duringPapa John’s founder John Schnatter laughs aloud during an interview with Alli Truttmann on Wednesday night at the Palace Theatre. 1/25/17 Marty Pearl/Special to the Courier JournalFullscreenPapa John’s founder John SchnatterPapa John’s founder John Schnatter David Harpe/Special to the Courier-JournalFullscreenInterested in this topic? You may also want to view these photo galleries:ReplayPapa John's founder John Schnatter.December 19, 20121 of 30John Schnatter of Papa John's Pizza2 of 30--   Papa John's Pizza founder John Schnatter chatted3 of 30John 'Papa John' Schnatter.4 of 30--  TEXT:M     Louisville-based Papa John's International5 of 30John Schnatter, founder of Papa John's Pizza stands6 of 30Papa John's founder John Schnatter tastes a spoonful7 of 30Papa John's Pizza founder John Schnatter told Anchorage8 of 30John Schnatter, (right) Founder of Papa John's Pizza,9 of 30John Schnatter received a national award for the two-mile10 of 30John Schnatter received a national award for the two-mile11 of 30Schnatter drove the car into the company lobby.  Papa12 of 30--Caption: Papa John's CEO John Schnatter, left,13 of 30--Text Staff photo by Mary Ann Lyons, May 20, 1999Papa14 of 30Papa John's Founder, Chairman and CEO John Schnatter15 of 30John Schnatter, founder of Papa John's Pizza. Oct.16 of 30Louisville's interim AD talks with U of L board of17 of 30In this file photo from 2016, John Schnatter placed18 of 30In this file photo, John Schnatter, founder of Papa19 of 30Papa John's founder John Schnatter salutes another20 of 30John Schnatter, left, CEO of Papa John's Pizza, arrives21 of 30John Schnatter22 of 30John Schnatter23 of 30John Schnatter, board member at the UofL Foundation,24 of 30Papa John's Pizza founder John Schnatter talks with25 of 30John Schnatter speaks during a press conference at26 of 30John Schnatter looks over renderings of a new exhibit27 of 30John Schnatter speaks during a press conference at28 of 30Papa John's founder John Schnatter laughs aloud during29 of 30Papa John’s founder John Schnatter30 of 30AutoplayShow ThumbnailsShow CaptionsLast SlideNext Slide

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