Wendy’s/Arby’s shares climb on buyout talk

CHICAGO — Wendy’s/Arby’s Group Inc. Chairman Nelson Peltz says he has been approached by an unnamed group interested in possibly acquiring the restaurant company and says he is looking into it.

Wendy’s/Arby’s shares climbed 48 cents, or 11 percent, to $4.82 in premarket trading today.

Peltz, whose investment firm owns 23.5 percent of the Atlanta company’s shares, gave few details about the oral inquiry which he disclosed in a regulatory filing late yesterday.

But he said the possible deal could include his participation and that he would work with financial advisers to discuss the transaction.

Peltz led Arby’s former parent Triarc Cos., which acquired Dublin, Ohio-based Wendy’s in 2008.

The fast food chain did not immediately comment Friday.

Wendy’s/Arby’s Group has struggled during the recession as customers scaled back on even cheap eats like fast food.

In the most recent quarter, the chain lost $3.4 million, or a penny per share, as Arby’s poor sales continued to drag down results. That compares with a loss of $10.9 million, or 2 cents per share, the previous year.

Removing 3 cents per share in charges, earnings amounted to 2 cents per share.

Total revenue fell 3 percent to $837.4 million from $864 million.

Wendy’s/Arby’s Group runs more than 10,000 restaurants in the U.S. and 24 countries and U.S. territories worldwide.

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