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Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen is an American multinational chain of fried chicken fast food restaurants founded in 1972 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Often referred to as Popeyes and sometimes as Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits or Popeyes Famous Fried Chicken & Biscuits, it was acquired by Sandy Springs, Georgia–based AFC Enterprises, originally Americas Favorite Chicken Company, in 1993. According to a company press release dated June 29, 2007, Popeyes is the second-largest "quick-service chicken restaurant group, measured by number of units", with more than 2,500 restaurants in more than 40 states and the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and 30 countries worldwide including Bahrain, Canada, China, Costa Rica, the self-declared state of Northern Cyprus, Republic of Georgia, Germany, Guyana, Blue mountain state Honduras, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Mexico, Panama, Peru, the Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Suriname, Trinidad, Turkey, Vietnam and United Arab Emirates. About thirty locations are company-owned, the rest franchised. As of January 2014, Popeyes has over 2,000 restaurants worldwide according to their website. Popeyes Mighty Good Fried Chicken was first opened in Arabi, Louisiana, a suburb of New Orleans in St. Bernard Parish, on June 12, 1972 as "Chicken on the Run", owned by Al Copeland to compete against Kentucky Fried Chicken. As the companys official history states, they sold "traditional mild fried chicken [but] business was slow, and the chicken team realized they'd have to sell a spicier alternative to their standard chicken recipe if they wanted to impress flavor-seeking New Orleanians. Copeland started franchising his restaurant in 1976, beginning in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and over the next ten years added approximately 500 outlets. B.P. Newman of Laredo, Texas, acquired various franchises in Texas and surrounding states. Two hundred additional locations were added during a period of slower expansion. By 1990, Copeland Enterprises was in default on $391 million in debts, and in April 1991 the company filed for bankruptcy protection. In October 1992, the court approved a plan by a group of Copelands creditors that resulted in the creation of Americas Favorite Chicken Company, Inc. (AFC) to serve as the new parent company for Popeyes and Churchs. AFC went public in 2001 with initial public offering (IPO) of $142,818,479. On December 29, 2004, AFC sold Churchs to Arcapita, formerly Crescent Capital Investments, retaining Popeyes.[citation needed] On June 17, 2014, Popeyes announced it had re-acquired full control of its seasonings, recipes and other proprietary food preparation techniques from Diversified Foods & Seasonings, which remained under the control of Al Copeland and his estate after the creditor sale of Popeyes to AFC. Popeyes had continued to license the seasonings, recipes and techniques from DF&S for a yearly spice royalty', before buying them outright for $43 million. DFS will remain the main supplier for Popeyes until at least 2029.
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