Wendy's (NASDAQ: WEN) has completed the sale of 70 restaurants in the Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex to Texas-based MUY Hamburger Partners, a Wendy's franchisee.
The transaction is part of the company's System Optimization initiative, designed to help Wendy's reduce expenses, improve company-operated restaurant operating margin and geographically concentrate its restaurant ownership in 13 U.S. markets.
With the purchase of the Dallas-Ft. Worth restaurants, MUY Hamburger Partners, led by president and CEO James Bodenstedt, will now operate a total of 87 Wendy's restaurants in Texas. The purchase agreement includes a commitment to remodel selected restaurants with new interiors and decor, and open new locations.
Last July, Wendy's announced plans to sell about 425 company-owned restaurants to franchisees, reducing its total ownership from 22 percent to about 15 percent. So far, the company has sold 314 restaurants, and hopes to close on the remaining transactions by the end of the second quarter.
Proceeds from the restaurant sales are estimated at $235 million, including $138 million in 2013.
The move is the latest in a string of improvement efforts for the second-largest U.S. hamburger chain. Wendy's has been revamping its image with a new logo, restaurant renovations and a new "Right Price, Right Size Menu." There are more than 6,500 franchise and company-operated restaurants worldwide.
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