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What's next for Wendy's

MIchael Flaherty
May 26, 2022
Wendy's fries and drink
Photo: Matthew Staver/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Trian Partner's 13D amendment on its Wendy's stake has set in motion a lot of speculation about what the activist hedge fund has in mind for the company and when that could come.

  • According to a source familiar with the matter, it's early days, and no major announcement is expected soon.

Why it matters: One potential outcome of Trian's agitation could be the acquisition of Wendy's — valued at $4 billion — via a private equity firm or a strategic.

What they're saying: Research firm Gordon Haskett mentioned two potential Wendy's suitors in its Wednesday report.

  • One was the private equity firm Roark Capital, which purchased Sonic in 2018.
  • The other was Yum Brands, but the owner of Pizza Hut and KFC bought The Habit Burger Grill in 2020, so it may not be eager to double down on patties.

Our thought bubble: Trian is very unlikely to finance some kind of purchase of its own, though large-cap activists do often threaten this move to fan the flames of agitation.

Of note: Wendy's share price has lagged peers, and Trian is clearly frustrated.

Trian and Yum did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Roark declined to comment.

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