Is a ‘For Sale’ Sign in Wendy’s Future?
By George Anderson
Now that two separate fund management firms that own 10 percent of Wendy’s International Inc.’s stock have convinced the company’s management to spin off Tim Hortons and explore
a sale of Baja Fresh Mexican Grill, what’s next for the restaurant chain?
At least one retail industry expert thinks it’s not outside the realm of possibility that Wendy’s itself will be sold.
Howard Davidowitz, chairman of Davidowitz & Associates, told The Associated Press that he believes Trian Fund Management, which is run by billionaire investor Nelson
Peltz and owns 10 percent of Wendy’s, will push for the chain to close underperforming locations and reduce costs. Trian might eventually seek the sale of the company, as well,
said Mr. Davidowitz.
In addition to his firm’s holdings in Wendy’s, Mr. Peltz is the chairman and chief executive of Triarc Cos., which franchises Arby’s restaurants.
“I know what Nelson Peltz is interested in is making money,” Davidowitz said. “Whatever way makes money for him and the shareholders, that’s what he’s going to do.”
Wendy’s spokesperson Denny Lynch would not speculate on the company’s future.
“We trust our board of directors will make decisions in the best interest of our shareholders,” he said.
Peter Oakes, an analyst with Piper Jaffray, said a sale of Wendy’s is possible but, “In my judgment, no one’s really going to be in a position to do that until Tim Hortons is
sold off. At that juncture, it might be another discussion.”
Moderator’s Comment: Are the moves currently being made at Wendy’s (the Tim Hortons IPO, exploring a sale of Baja Fresh) in the best interests of positioning
the company for long-term growth? What does the chain need to do to turn its business around? –
George Anderson – Moderator