Al Copeland, Jr. and Cheryl Bachelder, Popeys CEO.

ATLANTA – Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen has completed the purchase of recipes for many of its core menu items at a cost of $43 million. The chicken chain bought the recipes from Diversified Foods and Seasonings LLC (DFS), a supply company owned by the estate of Al Copeland, Popeyes founder.

The Popeyes brand and the recipes were separated in 1992. The company formed a licensing agreement with family entities owned by Al Copeland Sr. to have exclusive use of the recipes. The buyout reunites the brand with recipes.

“This is an exciting and historic event representing a win for everyone involved,” said Cheryl Bachelder, CEO of Popeyes. “We now have the recipes in house in perpetuity, and we thank the Copeland family for helping bring together the treasured recipes Popeyes is known for with the brand so beloved by its guests.”

Popeyes funded the purchases from its revolving credit facility bringing the company's total debt to approximately $110 million. The company has approximately $140 million remaining in its line of credit.

“Going forward, we will convert the $3.1 million we were previously paying as a royalty into hard-working invested dollars to materially improve the Popeyes employee and guest experience. Including this reinvestment, our overall general and administrative expenses will remain among the lowest in the industry, at approximately 3 percent of system-wide sales,” Bachelder said. “We believe the best performing restaurant chains view their human capital as a competitive advantage. To that end, we are actively building best-in-class human resource capabilities, the goals of which will be superior service for our guests, and industry-leading financial performance over time. Popeyes is already known for the best food in the industry. With this strategy, we intend to develop an employee experience and a guest experience that is as distinctive as our food.”