Shares of Applebee's International Inc. rose as much as 10 percent on Wednesday after Bloomberg News reported that pancake house operator IHOP Corp. had made a bid for the struggling bar-and-grill chain.
The report, citing people familiar with the matter, said IHOP's move came in the second round of bidding for Applebee's. The sources did not know the value of the offer and said there could be other bidders, Bloomberg reported.
A spokeswoman for Applebee's said the company would not comment on rumors or speculation. A representative of IHOP could not immediately be reached for comment.
Applebee's announced earlier this year that it was reviewing strategic alternatives for its business, and said in April that it had received several takeover proposals. It is also considering a recapitalization.
The casual dining chain has been hard-hit by weakened consumer spending and stiff competition from rival bar-and-grill chains, as well as grocery chains' efforts to sell more prepared meals.
The company's shares were up $1.27, or 5.1 percent, to $26.07 in afternoon trade on Nasdaq. The stock had traded as high as $27.37 immediately following publication of the report.