It may be deja vu all over again for Nelson Peltz and Wendy's

Restaurant Rewind: The investor knows how to bag his prey. Will this pursuit be as nasty as the last one?

Nelson Peltz must love those square burgers and Frosties. Fourteen years after buying Wendy’s, the activist investor has alerted federal regulators that he’s interested in acquiring the burger chain again. 

If past is prologue, it’ll likely be a rollercoaster ride for investors, staff and any other stakeholder, as this week’s Restaurant Rewind podcast reports. Host and Restaurant Business Editor-at-Large Peter Romeo looks back at the war of communications that raged over about a two-year stretch, with Peltz formally rebuffed at least twice.

The particulars are clearly different this time around. For one thing, Peltz already owns about 20% of Wendy’s stock, or more than twice as much as he controlled back in 2008. Forcing Wendy’s to make an acquisition also appears to be a possibility this time, as the podcast notes.

The session also notes that Peltz lacks the sort of boardroom foil who made his last run such a grabber.

Listen to the podcast for more of the nuances that could make this the sort of takeover the industry hasn’t seen in years. You’ll find Restaurant Rewind on Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

Members help make our journalism possible. Become a Restaurant Business member today and unlock exclusive benefits, including unlimited access to all of our content. Sign up here.


Exclusive Content


Wendy's, whose chairman is an activist, may be getting an activist

The Bottom Line: Activist investor Blackwells apparently plans to nominate “several directors” to the burger chain’s board, according to Reuters.


Yes, there is such a thing as too fast in the quick-service world

The Bottom Line: In a world of digital orders and drive-thrus, friendly service actually matters more than speed.


BK franchisee Carrols goes from tragedy to triumph

The big Burger King franchisee has overcome a pandemic, inflation, questions about its future and the death of multiple executives to become the industry’s best turnaround story of 2023.


More from our partners