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Wendy's sells 104 U.S. restaurants, completes optimization initiative

Wendy's announced the completion of its system optimization initiative, launched in July, with the sale of 104 restaurants in four U.S. markets: Phoenix, Los Angeles/Palm Springs, Hawaii and Albuquerque. In total, Wendy's has sold 418 company-operated restaurants concentrated in 13 U.S. markets, primarily in the West, as part of a strategy to geographically align its restaurant ownership for efficiencies, while generating a more predictable revenue stream. Wendy's has received total proceeds from system optimization of approximately $235M, including $138M in 2013. As a result of system optimization, the company expects to generate a higher operating margin and stronger free cash flow, along with further enhancing the quality of its earnings with a more predictable revenue stream from a higher percentage of royalty and rental income. With the completion of the initiative, the company will now operate about 1,000 restaurants in the United States and Canada, comprising approximately 15% of Wendy's restaurant system.