WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — The board of directors of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Inc. on Jan. 15 adopted a new shareholder protection rights agreement to replace its existing plan that is set to expire on Jan. 18.

“The new rights plan was adopted to deter abusive takeover tactics, but it was not adopted in response to any specific effort to acquire control of the company,” said Jim Morgan, chairman and chief executive officer. “The company’s current market capitalization makes the company and its shareholders especially vulnerable to a creeping acquisition of control whereby a person can acquire a substantial percentage of the company’s outstanding stock prior to making any public disclosure regarding its control intent and without paying a control premium.”

Mr. Morgan said the new plan will provide the board of directors with negotiating leverage if a third party offers to acquire Krispy Kreme at a price that would not provide shareholders with the full value of their investment.

“The issuance of the rights has no dilutive effect, will not affect reported earnings per share and is not taxable to Krispy Kreme or its shareholders,” he said.

In connection with the adoption of the new plan, the board declared a dividend of one right on each outstanding share of the company’s common stock. The dividend will be paid on Jan. 19 to shareholders of record on Jan. 18.

Krispy Kreme’s stock climbed 3% in early morning trading on Jan. 15.