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Wendy's sells Café Express

DUBLIN Ohio Wendy’s International Inc. quietly sold its 18-unit Café Express fast-casual chain at the end of July, according to a securities filing by the company. Terms, including what party bought the concept, were not divulged.

The sale pares Wendy's businesses to its signature burger chain and the Pasta Pomodoro and Pomodoro Cucina full-service Italian concepts.

Wendy’s had owned 100 percent of Café Express since last February, when it bought the remaining 30 percent of the concern it did not already own. Wendy’s bought an initial 45-percent stake for $9 million in February 2002 from founder Schiller Del Grande Restaurant Group, the Houston-based company of chef Robert Del Grande and his longtime business partner, Lonnie Schiller.

Wendy’s never followed through on plans to grow the sandwich and salad chain. The concept, which reported revenues of $32 million in 2006, is a fast-casual European-style bistro with inside seating for about 160. Patios contain between 30 and 100 seats.

The No. 3 burger brand sold Baja Fresh Mexican Grill during the fourth quarter of 2006 and Tim Hortons in the third quarter of 2006. Wendy’s executives said they sold the ancillary brands to focus more on Wendy’s.

TAGS: Finance News
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