Wendy's shares surge on mystery takeover offer

By Blake Ellis, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Shares of Wendy's/Arby's Group rose 7% Friday on talk that the fast food chain could be taken over.

Hedge fund manager Nelson Peltz disclosed in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission late Thursday that his firm, Trian Fund Management, received an "oral inquiry" from an unnamed party about a possible acquisition of Wendy's/Arby's.

Peltz said in the filing that the hedge fund is considering the inquiry and plans to contact financial advisors about the possible transaction. Spokespeople for Wendy's/Arby's and Trian declined further comment.

Trian is Wendy's/Arby's largest shareholder. Together, Peltz and his company own more than 21% of the restaurant chain's available shares.

Shares of Wendy's/Arby's (WEN) soared nearly 11% at the opening bell Friday before giving up some of those gains as the day wore on.

A takeover of Wendy's/Arby's would be the latest deal in the fast food industry.

CKE Restaurants (CKR), which operates Carl's Jr. and Hardee's, announced in April that it is being bought by private equity firm Apollo Management LP for $694 million. CKE originally accepted a lower bid from another private equity firm, Thomas H. Lee Partners, in February.

Joscelyn MacKay, an analyst at Morningstar, said Wendy's/Arby's may now be a good fit for a private equity firm that's looking to combine the chain with other fast food restaurants.

She said restaurant chains are attractive targets since their stocks are still relatively cheap. But she predicted that more mergers in the industry are likely among the fast food companies themselves.

Along those lines, there were rumors before CKE was bought that Wendy's/Arby's was also interested in buying the company.

"Even as the economy is rebounding, some firms are struggling to improve profitability," said MacKay. "The big ones like McDonald's are doing well, but some other quick service restaurants are trying to figure out their relevance." To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,804.80 26.65 0.15%
Nasdaq 4,765.38 16.98 0.36%
S&P 500 2,070.65 9.42 0.46%
Treasuries 2.18 -0.03 -1.27%
Data as of 9:16pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 17.62 0.09 0.51%
Apple Inc 111.78 -0.87 -0.77%
General Electric Co 25.62 0.48 1.91%
Intel Corp 36.37 -0.65 -1.76%
Microsoft Corp 47.66 0.14 0.29%
Data as of Dec 19

Sections

New York Magazine reporter Jessica Pressler, who has been caught up in controversy this past week, will not be moving on to a new job at Bloomberg News. More

Investors beware: These 5 global crises are likely to rattle the stock market and world economy. More

Forums in dark corners of the web sell the kinds of hacks that befell Sony. More

Unilever sued Hampton Creek over its egg-free mayonnaise spread Just Mayo. But the company behind Best Foods and Hellman's mayonnaise has now dropped the lawsuit. More

The income of the top 1% jumped significantly in 2012, far outpacing inflation. Not only did this group make a larger share of the country's income, their share of total taxes also jumped from 35% to 38%. More

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.