Activist investor Nelson Peltz's Trian won't pursue Wendy's takeover

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Nelson Peltz isn’t interested in acquiring Wendy’s, according to a regulatory filing made on Friday.

Peltz serves as non-executive chair on the burger chain’s board and as chief executive of activist firm Trian Fund Management, which is its largest shareholder. In May, Trian said it was exploring a potential deal with the company to “enhance shareholder value” that could include an acquisition or merger.

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“Trian believes that the Company is well-positioned to deliver significant long-term value for shareholders and looks forward to continuing to work with the Board and leadership team to do so,” Peltz said in a statement Friday.

Shares of Wendy’s closed up 6% on Friday.

Trian, which was founded by Peltz, first invested in Wendy’s in 2005, when the fund was initially created. The firm holds three board seats at the fast-food company, including the one held by Peltz.

This outcome was “widely anticipated” by Wall Street, according to a research note from Kalinowski Equity Research. The lack of a deal frees up time for Peltz, who went public this week with his desire to win a seat on Disney‘s board through a proxy fight.

Also on Friday, Wendy’s announced a reorganization for its corporate structure and the departures of U.S. Chief Financial Officer Leigh Burnside and Chief Commercial Officer and U.S. President Kurt Kane. Burnside is leaving to join another unnamed restaurant company, while Kane’s position was eliminated.

Wendy’s said the aim of the corporate redesign is to maximize efficiency and streamline decision making. Rival McDonald’s announced a week ago that it is also revamping its corporate structure for similar reasons.

In a preannouncement of its fourth quarter results, Wendy’s said its same-store sales increased 6.4% in the three months ended Jan. 1. Its net sales climbed 13.4% to $536.5 million.

The company’s board approved doubling its dividend to 25 cents and spending $500 million on share buybacks.


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