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California Pizza Kitchen shares jump on deal rumors

July 28, 2010 | 11:12 am

Shares of California Pizza Kitchen Inc. are surging Wednesday on fresh rumors that the L.A. company is nearing a deal to sell itself.

The stock was up $1.50, or nearly 9%, to $18.27 in heavy trading at about 11:10 a.m. PDT, after the New York Post said that private equity firm American Securities Capital Partners was in “advanced talks” to buy the 261-store chain and was lining up financing.

But this comes just three weeks after the Post reported that a deal for CPK was looking less likely. That report helped drive the stock down as low as $13.19 in early July.

CPK founders Rick Rosenfield and Larry Flax, who launched the designer-pizza chain 25 years ago, said in April that the firm was looking at “wide range of financial and strategic alternatives to enhance shareholder value,” including a possible sale of the business.

A CPK spokeswoman declined to comment on the Post report.

-- Tom Petruno