GRAND RAPIDS — Franchise restaurant operator Meritage Hospitality Group Inc. is expanding its portfolio of Wendy’s restaurants with a deal to acquire a group of restaurants in the Midwest.
Meritage signed a definitive agreement to acquire 43 Wendy’s locations in a deal that is subject to due diligence and franchise approvals, according to a statement.
The new locations will add approximately $65 million in annual sales to Meritage (OTCQX: MHGU). The company plans to finance the transaction with a combination of cash and credit facilities.
Meritage CEO Robert Schermer, Jr. said the company is on track to open a record number of Wendy’s locations this year and in 2023.
“Acquisitions, renovations, and new restaurant development are integral parts of our Wendy’s restaurant business model as we grow into new market areas,” Schermer said in a statement. “The Company has successfully completed 27 Wendy’s acquisitions over the past decade and remains a leader in new restaurant development within the Wendy’s system.”
For next year, Meritage is forecasting continued growth, driven by its acquisitions and newly built locations for the Wendy’s and Taco John’s brands. The company expects its renovated Wendy’s locations to be a “strong catalyst” for sales and earnings growth, according to a statement.
Meritage is in the middle of a five-year, 500-restaurant growth plan that includes its Wendy’s operations, as well as developing locations of Morning Belle, a breakfast-brunch brand the company recently created. As MiBiz previously reported, Meritage also is executing a $100 million plan to build 50 new Taco John’s stores by 2026, with options to develop an additional 150 restaurants.
Across a 16-state footprint, Meritage operates 353 restaurants and employs approximately 11,000 people.
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