NEW YORK —The restaurant industry’s merger-and-acquisition market is heating back up after a near blackout on buyouts caused by the credit crisis and the slumping economy. Combine two recent multi-million-dollar deals for Church’s Chicken and CKE Restaurants with the rising temperature surrounding potential purchases of Hooters of America and Papa Murphy’s Take ‘N’ Bake Pizza. Add a sprinkle of investor activism at Denny’s Corp. and Red Robin Gourmet Burgers Inc., ...

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