“The Board will carefully review any proposal submitted by Trian Partners,” Wendy’s said in a statement Tuesday, adding, “we remain focused on achieving our vision of becoming the world’s most thriving and beloved restaurant brand.”
But breakfast hasn’t been enough to boost sales significantly in recent months.
“The breakfast environment was no doubt challenged across the industry … impacting our full year breakfast sales growth expectations,” said CEO Todd Penegor during an analyst call earlier this month.
Still, “we delivered solid results at the breakfast daypart,” Penegor added. Wendy’s increased its share in that mealtime compared to other fast-food burger restaurants, he said. In the first quarter, sales at Wendy’s restaurants open at least a year inched up 1.1%.
Wendy’s has also been hit hard by higher commodity and labor costs, and said that its margins have slimmed as a result.
Though investors may be eager for an acquisition of the company, some warned that it might be a tough sell.
“We believe a sale of Wendy’s may not be straightforward,” because of the strength of its competitors, Cowen restaurant analyst Andrew Charles said in a note Tuesday.
He added that many of the large restaurant owners already have a burger chain in their portfolio and may not be eager to add another — or go head-to-head against McDonald’s.
“Not only is Wendy’s a competing brand, but [Restaurant Brands] and [Yum] are focused on international development and looking to minimize head-to-head competition with McDonald’s, particularly domestically, where 85% of Wendy’s are located,” he wrote.