Investor Buys Additional Karcher Stock : Acquisition: Fidelity National’s chairman purchases 53,750 more shares. Another executive opts for 10,000.

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Orange County title industry executive William P. Foley II, who acquired 400,000 shares of Carl Karcher Enterprises stock on Oct. 21, has since bought 53,750 more shares, according to a federal Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

Foley, chairman of Irvine-based Fidelity National Financial Inc., acquired the 400,000 shares when he and several other investors paid off a delinquent, $4.5-million loan held by Carl N. Karcher. The fast-food magnate, who founded the Carl’s Jr. restaurant chain, had used the Karcher Enterprises shares to secure the loan from Commercial Center Bank in Santa Ana.

Also, according to the SEC filing, Frank Willey, Fidelity National’s executive vice president, has acquired 10,000 shares of the fast-food company.


“So much has been written about this (stock purchase) that we decided to get something into print,” Willey said Wednesday. “We didn’t want to be criticized for not having something on file with the SEC.”

Foley and Wiley now hold about 2.5% of Anaheim-based Karcher Enterprises’ outstanding shares, according to the SEC document.

The two executives are part of a group that is reportedly interested in acquiring control of 5.4 million shares of Karcher Enterprises stock that Karcher used to secure a $23.8-million loan from Union Bank. The loan is in default.

Karcher, who founded Carl’s Jr. in 1941, was ousted as chairman of the company on Oct. 1. He has said he may seek shareholder support to regain control of the company.

Karcher has also been struggling to right personal financial woes driven by soured investments and the weak Southern California real estate market.

According to a recent SEC filing, Karcher borrowed $500,000 in September, 1992, from the family trust of John C. Crean, a longtime family friend and owner of the Fleetwood Enterprises recreational vehicle manufacturer in Riverside.