WENDY’S MAY BID FOR THE BANKRUPT NPC’s RESTAURANTS

According to a federal securities filing, Wendy’s is looking at a bid for nearly 400 restaurants operating under the brand name NPC International (bankrupt franchisee).

The company stated that it could bid with a select franchisee for nearly 400 of the operator’s locations in a filing.

The fast-food chain is keen to be involved in the sale of Wendy’s restaurants and said that it was considering a bid with a group of pre-qualified franchisees. According to the franchisor, “several existing franchisees and new franchisees” will ultimately buy the restaurants. However, it can only acquire “at least one or two markets.”

This filing shows Wendy’s will take steps to ensure the restaurants are sold to franchisees that it chooses.

Wendy’s owns 6% of its more than 5,800 U.S. restaurants and prefers to leave the franchisees in charge. NPC’s ownership is put in perspective because the franchisee has 383 more locations (357 at year-end 2019) than the company (357).

NPC, the largest franchisee of Wendy’s Pizza Hut and Pizza Hut, filed for bankruptcy this summer. It is now up for sale. There are many options for the company to sell its assets, including everything of sale to one buyer or trading it in parts. NPC needs at least $725 Million for the entire company.

The price tag for Wendy’s operation is $400 million.

NPC’s lenders desire a quick and efficient sale process to maximize their loan recovery.

Franchisors have constantly been asserting their rights in bankruptcy proceedings. Typically, franchisors can have input into the transfer of franchise units during the sales process. However, bankruptcy courts may overrule these rights.

Wendy’s could be more successful in ensuring that its preferred operators take over the restaurant by working with franchisees and submitting a bid. Wendy’s has been purchasing franchisees to sell to operators willing to renovate and open new restaurants.

Wendy’s stated in its filing that it is looking at strategic options concerning the sale process. This could include “asserting different consent rights” under franchise agreements and possibly making a restaurant consortium offer.

Wendy’s noted that NPC’s Wendy’s restaurants remain open and that the franchisee has received royalties and other payments.

Wendy’s stated that “there cannot be any assurances regarding NPC’s Chapter 11 proceedings” and that any outcome “will not impact the company’s results in operations, cash flows, financial condition, or performance of the Wendy’s System.”

Pizza Hut is a franchise of NPC that operates 900 Pizza Hut locations after 300 had been closed. Already, it has stated that it would like to have a say in who buys these restaurants. Auctions for all restaurants will be held later in the month.

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filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy