One of America's Favorite Burger Chains May Soon Have a New Owner

Wendy's might be getting a new owner shortly. Wendy's majority shareholder Trian Fund Management revealed Tuesday that it is exploring the possibility of acquiring the burger brand in order to increase profitability.

Trian, which owns 19.4 percent of Wendy's, is currently "explor[ing]...a prospective transaction...to enhance shareholder value," according to a recent SEC filing—one that might involve a third party and entail an acquisition, merger, or other arrangement that would transfer control of Wendy's.

Wendy's stock rose 17 percent in after-hours trading on Tuesday, indicating that investors were pleased with the news.

Wendy's and Trian have a long history together. Since 2005, the investment firm has become a shareholder and has been involved in several of Wendy's greatest company-wide initiatives.

Trian currently sits on Wendy's board of directors in three positions. Wendy has been directed by Nelson Peltz, the CEO of Trian, since 2008.

Given Trian's track record, Wendy's could benefit from a purchase or merger with the company. With shares down 32% this year, the company is lagging competitors McDonald's and Restaurant Business International in stock performance.

The forecast for the rest of the year is mixed, with Wendy's planning to raise menu pricing again in the coming months after a round of price hikes last quarter.

In a recent earnings call, the company's CFO acknowledged that adjustments in 2022 might be "north of 5%."

It's unclear what ownership by Trian or a third party would mean for Wendy's on the ground level, but based on Trian's previous work with the business, customers should expect a slew of brand-building initiatives.

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