Wendy’s sells its interest in Arby’s, Buffalo Wild Wings for $450M

The company sold its 12.3% ownership stake to Inspire Brands
Photograph courtesy of Wendy's

The Wendy’s Co. on Aug. 16 said that it has sold its interest in Arby’s and Buffalo Wild Wings back to their parent company, Inspire Brands, for $450 million.

Dublin, Ohio-based Wendy’s had owned 12.3% of Inspire, a legacy of the ownership interest Wendy’s kept in Arby’s when it sold the chain to private equity firm Roark Capital in 2011.

At the time, Wendy’s interest in Arby’s was worth $30 million—meaning that valuation increased 1,400% over seven years.

Wendy’s said it plans to use the funds to invest back in Wendy’s and buy back shares. The company has authorized the purchase of up to $100 million of its own stock, in addition to its current $175 million share buyback program.

Wendy’s opted not to participate in Arby’s purchase of Buffalo Wild Wings this year, which created Atlanta-based Inspire. But over the years, Wendy’s has received more than $100 million in dividends through its ownership in Arby’s, which has grown considerably under Roark.

“The sale of our stake in Inspire Brands for $450 million is a great return on this investment for our shareholders,” Wendy’s Chairman Nelson Peltz said in a statement.

Wendy’s expects cash proceeds from the sale of $335 million after taxes.

“We have benefited from and enjoyed our partnership with Inspire, and we wish (Inspire Brands CEO) Paul Brown and the team continued success in the future,” Wendy’s CEO Todd Penegor said in a statement. “The opportunity to monetize our investment in Inspire Brands will allow us to invest in future growth for the Wendy’s brand and company, which is our top priority.”

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


Restaurants have a hot opportunity to improve their reputation as employers

Reality Check: New mandates for protecting workers from dangerous on-the-job heat are about to be dropped on restaurants and other employers. The industry could greatly help its labor plight by acting first.


Some McDonald's customers are doubling up on the discounts

The Bottom Line: In some markets, customers can get the fast-food chain's $5 value meal for $4. The situation illustrates a key rule in the restaurant business: Customers are savvy and will find loopholes.


Ignore the Red Lobster problem. Sale-leasebacks are not all that bad

The decade-old sale-leaseback at the seafood chain has raised questions about the practice. But experts say it remains a legitimate financing option for operators when done correctly.


More from our partners