Arby's Purchase of Wendy's 'Sad Day' for Thomas Family

Columbus despairs as layoffs loom
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 25, 2008 12:08 PM CDT
Popular fast food eateries Arby's and Wendy's are shown adjacent to one another along "fast food row" near downtown Jackson, Miss., Thursday, April 24, 2008.   (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
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(Newser) – After years of haggling, Arby’s owner Nelson Peltz reached a deal to acquire Wendy’s yesterday, ending the involvement of the Thomas family that founded it. Wendy Thomas herself called the sale a “huge, huge disappointment,” the Columbus Dispatch reports. The family had hoped local franchisee J. David Karam would acquire the company. “It’s a sad day for Columbus,” said Karam.

Peltz is paying $2.3 billion for Wendy’s, giving shareholders a 6% premium over Wednesday’s closing price. But fear has taken hold in the company's headquarters, because layoffs will be part of the company's restructuring. “Everyone's concerned,” said one long-time employee. “It’s sad for everyone. We’ve been here so long.”