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Peltz's deadline passes, but negotiations with Wendy's appear to continue

NEW YORK Wendy’s International Inc. and potential suitor Triarc Cos. Inc., the restaurant concern controlled by activist investor Nelson Peltz, appear to be continuing their discussions about the No. 3 burger brand’s auction process despite passing a 5 p.m. deadline set by Peltz for the resolution of some issues.

On Monday, Peltz said he was prepared to offer as much as $3.5 billion for Dublin, Ohio-based Wendy’s, a company in which he owns a 9.8-percent stake, but only if terms of a confidentiality agreement between the two parties was amended. Peltz gave Wendy’s until Wednesday at 5 p.m. East Coast time to accept his changes, the majority of which related to pre-arranged staple financing. In a letter sent to Wendy’s chairman Jim Pickett earlier this week, Peltz said the staple financing does not allow Triarc “flexibility … to maximize the consideration it could offer to Wendy’s.”

On Wednesday, a Wendy’s spokesman said the company would not comment on the proceedings. According to a Reuters report, however, Triarc and Wendy’s are in discussions. A spokeswoman for Atlanta-based Triarc, which is parent to the Arby’s quick-service brand, told Reuters that Triarc is “in continuing discussions with [Wendy’s] special committee regarding the terms under which Triarc would participate in the Wendy’s sale process.” Wendy’s first announced in April it would seek strategic alternatives.

Triarc said earlier this month it considers itself a “natural, strategic buyer” for Wendy’s, and on Monday said it was prepared to offer between $37 and $41 per share for Wendy’s stock, or between $3.2 billion and $3.5 billion. Wendy’s spokesman Denny Lynch said that the company’s “special committee is following a comprehensive process in determining strategic alternatives for the company. They will make an announcement when they believe it is appropriate.”

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