The Wendy’s Co. on Thursday sold its 12.3 percent ownership in Inspire Brands Inc., parent to the Arby’s and Buffalo Wild Wings concepts, for $450 million, the company said.
Wendy’s had owned the remaining slice of what is now Inspire Brands since the July 2011 sale for $430 million of its majority interest in Arby’s Restaurant Group Inc. to Atlanta-based investment firm Roark Capital Group.
In Thursday’s sale, Wendy’s said it was expecting about $335 million of cash proceeds net of tax.
"The sale of our stake in Inspire Brands for $450 million is a great return on this investment for our shareholders," said Nelson Peltz, Wendy’s chairman, in a statement.
"Over the past seven years, Wendy's and its shareholders have benefitted from more than $100 million in distributions and the monetization of this investment carries a 38 percent premium over its most recent valuation,” Peltz said.
Todd Penegor, Wendy's president and CEO added that the sale would allow the nation’s third largest burger brand, behind McDonald’s and Burger King, to invest in its growth. Penegor said proceeds also would go toward repurchase of Wendy’s shares, for which it said the company’s board had approved a $100 million authorization.
Wendy’s shares were up about 2.7 percent mid-afternoon Thursday, trading at about $18.36, up from Wednesday’s close of $17.88 a share.
Inspire Brands was created in February when Arby’s Restaurant Group completed its $2.9 billion acquisition of casual-dining Buffalo Wild Wings Inc. and its R Taco/Rusty Taco brands.
Inspire Brands is owned by Atlanta-based Roark Capital Group. It operates more than 1,700 restaurants and franchises more than 2,900 units. Annual systemwide sales of its Buffalo Wild Wings, Arby’s and R Taco brands exceeded $7.6 billion in 2017, the company said.
Dublin, Ohio-based Wendy's has about 6,600 franchisee- and company-operated restaurants in the United States and 28 other countries and territories.
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