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 16,986.32 3.73 0.02%
Nasdaq 4,453.11 8.20 0.18%
S&P 500 1,977.59 -1.32 -0.07%
Treasuries 2.47 -0.02 -0.80%
Data as of 11:18am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Frontier Communicati... 6.94 1.00 16.84%
Windstream Holdings ... 12.48 1.95 18.53%
AT&T Inc 36.97 1.32 3.70%
CenturyLink Inc 41.17 3.46 9.18%
Apple Inc 98.62 -0.40 -0.40%
Data as of 11:04am ET

Sections

UBS is the latest major bank to get sucked into a U.S. probe over 'dark pool' trading venues. More

New annual report from U.S. government shows the long-term prognosis for Medicare has improved thanks to slower health spending, while the outlook for Social Security remains unchanged. More

These niche sectors are attracting attention -- and, more importantly, money -- from small business lenders. More

Steve Mason, a pastor from California, inherited more than $100,000 in student loan debt when his 27-year-old daughter died suddenly in 2009. With interest and late penalties, the debt has since ballooned to $200,000. More

Market indexes 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. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.