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.”
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