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Activist Blackwells targets board changes at Wendy’s

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Blackwells Capital, the activist hedge fund firm founded by Jason Aintabi, is gearing up to challenge for a change in boardroom personnel at US fast-food dining chain Wendy’s Co, according to a report by Reuters.

The report cites people familiar with the matter as revealing that Blackwell’s is planning to nominate several directors to the company’s board of directors in a push for improvements in financial performance.

The boardroom challenge would pit Blackwells against another activist hedge fund, Trian Fund Management, which owns a 16% stake in Wendy’s and already has three representatives – Trian CEO Nelson Peltz, Trian President Peter May and Trian research co-head Matthew Peltz – on the company’s board.

Trian is currently involved in a board challenge at Walt Disney & Co while Blackwells has publicly backed the entertainment giant’s CEO Bob Iger.

In a joint statement Nelson Peltz, Chairman of the Board, and Arthur B Winkleblack, Lead Independent Director of The Wendy’s Company, said:We welcome dialogue with all Wendy’s shareholders. Our board and management does not have a monopoly on good ideas. In the spirit of good corporate governance, we are more than happy to engage with any shareholder to discuss their views and, as always, we are open to adding any new board member who can add value.”

Shares of Wendy’s closed up 4.2% when news of Blackwells’ plans first broke, having previously lost 15% this year amid investor concerns over decelerating growth.

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