Wendy's parent completes Arby's sale, changes name

ATLANTA — Wendy's/Arby's Group Inc. said today it completed the sale of Arby's Restaurant Group Inc. to Atlanta-based private equity firm Roark Capital Group, and dropped the roast beef sandwich chain from its name.

 

The company will do business as The Wendy's Company effective Tuesday and continue to trade under the ticker "WEN" on the New York Stock Exchange.

The $130 million sale of 81.5 percent of Arby's was completed less than a month after it was announced. Wendy's kept an 18.5 percent stake in the fast-food chain, which Wendy's CEO Roland Smith said last month signals the company's confidence in Arby's future. Roark also assumed $190 million worth of Arby's debt.

Wendy's and Arby's were combined in 2008 after Nelson Peltz and his investment firm, which already owned Arby's, bought the Atlanta-based hamburger chain. The combined company struggled since its formation in the midst of the Great Recession, losing money seven of its 10 quarters.

Wendy's has about 6,600 restaurants, while Arby's has about 3,600.

Arby's is the 11th restaurant company Roark has purchased. Its stable also includes Carvel Ice Cream, Cinnabon, Auntie Anne's, Moe's Southwest Grill and some Seattle's Best Coffee outlets. It acquired Corner Bakery Café and Il Fornaio Restaurants and Bakeries last month.

Smith said Wendy's will now focus on its namesake chain, with plans to revamp the menu, including offering breakfast items, along with updating restaurants and building new locations in the U.S. and globally.

The company plans to release second-quarter financial results Aug. 11 before the market opens.

In light midday trading, Wendy's shares slipped 3 cents to $5.16. The stock has changed hands between $3.83 and $5.22 in the past 52 weeks.

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