DUBLIN, Ohio — Wendy’s is seeking to boost cash flow by selling off corporately owned restaurants to franchisees, totalling approximately 380 units this year and 260 more in 2016, nearly 500 of which will be in the U.S. and 100 in Canada.
The Dublin, Ohio-based chain will own only five-per-cent of its stores by the middle of next year. “Our previously announced plan to reduce our ownership of company-operated restaurants also remains on schedule,” said Emil Brolick, president and CEO. “Given the success of the first phase of our system optimization initiative, we have re-engaged (Toronto-based) The Cypress Group to assist with the divestiture of the 540 remaining domestic restaurants targeted for sale to franchisees.” The deal will generate $400 to $475 million and reduce future capital expenditure requirements. In addition, it will sell its bakery operations in Zanesville, Ohio, this year.
Wendy’s also announced it will revamp 450 units system-wide, and build 80 new stores this year, with the overall goal to have 60 per cent of its North American units reimaged by 2020.