Wendy's International Inc said Wednesday a Venezuelan
hamburger chain, TropiBurger, will convert 32 restaurants to the Wendy's banner as a
Dublin, Ohio-based Wendy's considers South American markets to have strong potential, spokesman Denny Lynch said, adding that Wendy's has also been in talks with prospective franchisees in Brazil. It already has outlets in Argentina.
"We feel very confident the Wendy's concept will play very well (in these countries)," Lynch said. Wendy's has outlets in Central American and Caribbean countries and is "doing well" there, he said in a telephone interview.
Caracas-based TropiBurger will convert 32 existing outlets to Wendy's, Lynch said. A new company called Wenco Servicios De Comida Rapida CA, will be headed by Andres E. Garcia. Garcia was executive president of TropiBurger's parent, which also owns other restaurants not involved in the Wendy's agreement, Lynch said.
In Argentina, Wendy's and a franchisee have converted or built the first six of 40 Wendy's planned for the next several years, Lynch said. A franchise agreement reached last year called for conversion of 20 existing Pumper restaurants and construction of 20 new restaurants in Argentina.
Unlike the Argentina agreement, which is "a bit of a joint venture," Wendy's will make no initial investment in the Venezuela deal, Lynch said. Other terms were not disclosed.
In the Venezuela burger market, Wendy's will compete against McDonald's Corp and others.
Wendy's, which at year end had about 4,400 U.S. and 563 international restaurants, plans an additional 170 international units, corporate and franchised, this year. Most of its overseas corporate stores are in the United Kingdom.
Wendy's had net income of $156 million, or $1.19 a diluted share, on revenues of $1.9 billion in 1996.