When a founder leaves his or her company, people begin to raise eyebrows. And here at Hedgeye, eyebrows have been raised over Wendy’s. In short, the sons of Jim Near, who helped turnaround the company by pushing the Dave Thomas image in the late 1980s through the 1990s, sold their 30 restaurants in Texas back to the company for $19.8 million.
Why is this a concern? Because Wendy’s has been struggling with its image for some time now. The Near family was essentially the closest thing to the Thomas family that Wendy’s had having been involved with WEN since 1974. Now that they’ve sold out, no one knows what lies ahead for the company. The five year performance chart of Wendy’s’ stock price is indicative as to why no one wants to stick around.