Foodservice

Wendy's Exploring Sale

Also evaluating securitization financing

DUBLIN, Ohio -- Wendy's International Inc. said that its board, which is reviewing the quick-service restaurant (QSR) company's strategic options, has decided to explore a possible sale. There is no specific timetable for the process.

The Special Committee has determined that the exploration of a sale is the appropriate next step in the investigation of value-creating alternatives for our stakeholders, said James V. Pickett, chairman of the board and the Special Committee. While a sale remains only one of the alternatives under consideration, we believe [image-nocss] it merits more thorough examination.

He added, Our goal is to move forward expeditiously and to minimize disruption to the company and its operations. We want management and our operators to focus on executing Wendy's business plan to grow sales and margins.

JP Morgan, as lead advisor, and Lehman Brothers Inc., as co-advisor, will conduct the sale exploration process in conjunction with the Special Committee.

The committee is also evaluating a possible securitization financing. Such a securitization could be used by a potential buyer or in a recapitalization of the company.

A sale transaction would require approval by the full board and shareholders.

Our strategy to revitalize the Wendy's brand, improve our bond with customers and generate sustainable same-stores growth is producing positive results, said CEO and president Kerrii Anderson. We've delivered 12 consecutive months of positive same-store sales through May, but the last two months have been challenging as we've aggressively adjusted pricing to bring Wendy's more in line with the market. We believe our new market-based pricing approach is the right long-term strategy to generate more positive store operating margins, but it has pressured transactions in the short-term. Our employees and operators are producing improved results, but certain external factors have changed and are impacting results.

She added, Our goal is to keep everyone in the system focused on executing our strategic plan to drive profitable sales and expanded margins at every restaurant. Our brand strategy and new advertising will clearly tell consumers about Wendy's superior quality and great-tasting products. We have been emphasizing our fresh, never frozen beef' in our newest ads. At the same time, we are focused on operational improvements across the system and we expect to meet our store labor savings and G&A goals.

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