Daily News: July 29, 2014

GE Capital Supports Cotti Foods’ Wendy’s Acquisitions

GE Capital’s Franchise Finance announced it loaned $39.4 million to Cotti Foods for the acquisition of 39 Wendy’s restaurants, the remodeling of existing units and the development of new units.

Cotti purchased the units — 32 in the greater Los Angeles market as well as seven in Hawaii — from Wendy’s International. In total, Wendy’s has sold 418 company-operated restaurants across 13 U.S. markets, primarily in the West, to align restaurant ownership and generate a more predictable revenue stream.

“As part of our System Optimization initiative focused on building a stronger Wendy’s, we chose to sell our restaurants in two strategic markets to Cotti Foods, a strong, well-respected operator that is committed to growing our brand,” said Todd Penegor, CFO of the Wendy’s Company. “We’re also excited to work with Cotti Foods to carry out our ultra-modern restaurant design and re-imaging program.”

“I chose GE Capital as our lender because of their restaurant industry expertise, and their knowledge of Wendy’s and its refranchising effort, which enabled them to underwrite this transaction in a remarkably short timeframe &mdash’ about four weeks,” Capriotti said. “The entire experience was positive and I’m grateful that GE Capital supported us in this important development.”

“We’re pleased to help Pete and his team undertake this expansion,” said Todd Cortell, senior vice president with GE Capital, Franchise Finance. “We have a long-standing relationship with Wendy’s and its franchisees, and we’re committed to providing capital that enables both groups to grow, so it’s exciting to participate with Pete and Cotti Foods as they join the brand.”

Rancho Santa Margarita, CA-headquartered, Cotti Foods was formed by Peter Capriotti II, who serves as its president and CFO.