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Meritage Hospitality Group acquires 57 Wendy’s locations, outlines continued growth plans

BY MiBiz Staff Friday, May 19, 2017 09:59am

GRAND RAPIDS — An operator of fast food and other restaurants has added a large portfolio of Wendy’s locations to its portfolio.

Meritage Hospitality Group Inc. (OTCQX: MHGU) said yesterday that it acquired 57 Wendy’s restaurants across Arkansas, Missouri, Mississippi and Tennessee. Cumulatively, the restaurants employ 1,600 people, according to a statement from CEO Robert Schermer, Jr.

The company plans to integrate the restaurants into its operating and accounting software before performing “extensive remodeling” to update the interior and exterior design of the locations “to enhance the overall guest experience,” Schermer said.

Meritage first detailed the 57-store acquisition in reporting its first quarter earnings in mid April, but it did not identify the locations.

In announcing the deal this week, Meritage also outlined its growth projections for the full 2017 fiscal year. The company said it expected sales growth of 30-40 percent, while income from operations was expected to spike 45-55 percent, the same growth expected in net earnings.

Its new five-year business plan hinges on continued organic growth and acquisitions. Meritage wants to expand from the 250 restaurants it has now after its most recent acquisitions to 400 locations by 2021.

Currently, Meritage operates restaurants in Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Virginia and employs 7,600 employees.

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