Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Papa John’s (Nasdaq: PZZA) held preliminary merger discussions with Wendy’s (Nasdaq: WEN) prior to the ouster of Papa John’s founder and chairman John Schnatter, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Why it's a BFD: Because even if this deal isn't consummated — and the WSJ says talks have "cooled" with Schnatter out of the picture — the willingness to engage suggests a major course reversal for Wendy's, which has spent the better part of this decade selling its non-namesake brands (Arby's, Tim Hortons, etc.)

Bottom line: "The deal talks highlight the opportunity potential acquirers see in improving Papa John's technology and scaling up in a still fragmented pizza chain industry. Still, the public relations fall out that followed Schnatter's resignation is likely to complicate any potential deal." — CNBC

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