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MarketWatch First Take: Nelson’s Peltz’s hedge fund Trian won’t make bid for Wendy’s, backs new capital allocation strategy

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Nelson Peltz’s Trian Fund Management will not pursue a takeover of Wendy’s Co., the activist hedge fund said Friday.

Peltz is Wendy’s
WEN,
+5.07%

non-executive chairman, as well as CEO of Trian Fund Management , which is Wendy’s largest shareholder. Last year Trian, which owns 19.4% of the company’s shares, pushed for a possible sale of Wendy’s.

On Friday Wendy’s gave upbeat fourth-quarter guidance and its board doubled the company’s quarterly dividend to 25 cents a share. The board also approved a new $500 million share-repurchase authorization. 

“Trian believes strongly in the future of Wendy’s, is confident in the Company’s growth plans and is strongly supportive of the capital allocation strategy announced today,” Peltz said in a Wendy’s statement. “Trian believes that the Company is well-positioned to deliver significant long-term value for shareholders and looks forward to continuing to work with the Board and leadership team to do so.”

See Now: Wendy’s stock climbs on upbeat fourth-quarter guidance, dividend hike

Wendy’s stock rose 5% on Friday, outpacing the S&P 500 Index’s
SPX,
+0.18%

gain of 0.13%.

On Friday, Wendy’s also announced that it is embarking on a redesign of its organizational structure. “The redesign will be made in an effort to better support the execution of the Company’s long-term growth strategy by maximizing organizational efficiency and streamlining decision making,” the company said, in the statement. “As a result of the redesign, the Company anticipates its 2023 and 2024 G&A will be relatively flat versus 2022, despite elevated inflationary pressures,” it added.

As part of the organizational restructuring Wendy’s is eliminating the role of president, U.S., and chief commercial officer, the company said, in an SEC filing. As a result, the company’s president of its U.S. operations, Kurt Kane, will be leaving Wendy’s.

Also in the SEC filing, Wendy’s said that Leigh Burnside, the company’s senior vice president, chief accounting officer and U.S. CFO, is leaving to become CFO at another restaurant company. Suzanne Thuerk, who is currently Wendy’s vice president of accounting, has been appointed chief accounting officer, effective Jan. 20, 2023.

See Now: Wendy’s stock rallies 15% as Nelson Peltz’s hedge fund Trian discloses plans for possible sale

Earlier this week Trian Fund Management nominated Peltz for the Walt Disney Co.
DIS,
-0.73%

board. The hedge fund owns approximately 9.4 million common shares of Walt Disney, valued at approximately $900 million.

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