Wendy's Selling 54 Utah Restaurants

Wendy's (NASDAQ: WEN  ) is about to sell more than hamburgers and milk shakes. The company announced that it will divest 54 of its restaurants in the Salt Lake City area to a subsidiary of privately held franchise operator NPC International. The terms of the sale were not disclosed.

Wendy's has been on a divestment streak lately; including the NPC International deal, the company has sold 172 restaurants so far this year in a program it terms its "system optimization initiative." Its goal, announced in July, is to sell a total of roughly 425 across 13 U.S. markets by the end of Q2 2014.

With the program, the firm hopes to streamline its operations while modifying its top line mix. In the press release originally unveiling the initiative, the company quoted its CEO Emil Brolick as saying that with it, "we expect to generate a higher operating margin and stronger free cash flow, along with further enhancing the quality of our earnings with a more predictable revenue stream from a higher percentage of royalty and rent income."

The program will also see the company refresh its brand and introduce a new design aesthetic to some of its restaurants.


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