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Wendy’s: sells Ownership Interest in Inspire Brands

Dublin / OH. (twc) The Wendy’s Company announced that it has accepted an offer from Inspire Brands (Owner of Arby’s®, Buffalo Wild Wings®, and R Taco®) to sell its 12.3 percent ownership interest in the company back to Inspire Brands for USD 450 million. The agreement was approved by The Wendy’s Company Board of Directors and represents a 38 percent premium on the Wendy’s Company’s previous valuation of the investment.

«The sale of our stake in Inspire Brands for USD 450 million is a great return on this investment for our shareholders,» said Nelson Peltz, Chairman of the Board of Directors. «Over the past seven years, Wendy’s and its shareholders have benefited from more than USD 100 million in distributions and the monetization of this investment carries a 38 percent premium over its most recent valuation.»

«We have benefited from and enjoyed our partnership with Inspire, and we wish Paul Brown and the team continued success in the future,» said Todd Penegor, Wendy’s President and Chief Executive Officer. «The opportunity to monetize our investment in Inspire Brands will allow us to invest in future growth for the Wendy’s brand and Company, which is our top priority. The flexibility provided by the sale proceeds and the additional share repurchase authorization through 2019 will also allow us to continue to create value for our shareholders.»

Use of Cash

The Company views this transaction as one that will provide the Company future flexibility to invest in the growth of the Wendy’s® brand and Company and increase its share repurchase program. The Board of Directors has authorized a new share repurchase program for up to USD 100 million of the Company’s common stock through December 27, 2019. This is in addition to the Company’s current USD 175 million share repurchase authorization, expiring March 3, 2019, which had USD 93.1 million remaining as of August 1, 2018. Further details will be provided as the Company develops additional plans to utilize the proceeds from this transaction.

Transaction Details

The Wendy’s Company sold its 12.3 percent ownership interest in Inspire Brands for USD 450 million. The Inspire investment had a carrying value of zero. As a result, the Company is expecting approximately USD 335 million of cash proceeds net of tax. The transaction closed on August 16, 2018.