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has signed a confidentiality agreement with Nelson Peltz's Trian fund enabling the investor to explore a buyout of the burger chain.

Under the deal, Trian and Peltz's

Triarc Cos.

( TRY) -- which own 9.8% of Wendy's -- may not buy any more shares of the company before Dec. 1. However, under certain circumstances, those restrictions could terminate prior to that date.

The constraints on buying shares had been a point of contention for Peltz, the billionaire investor who has been agitating at Wendy's over the past year and a half. Wendy's previously offered a confidentiality agreement that had a one-year standstill on buying more shares, which Peltz balked at.

Peltz, whose Triarc business owns the Arby's fast-food chain, has previously said he was

prepared to offer $37 to $41 a share for Wendy's. The stock closed Monday at $31.99.

Wendy's, the nation's No. 3 burger chain after


(MCD) - Get Free Report


Burger King


, announced in April that it was exploring strategic alternatives. It moved a potential sale to the front burner in June after slashing its earnings outlook amid weak sales and high commodity costs.

For a look at his other holdings, check out the

Nelson Peltz

portfolio at The list includes

Tim Horton's


, which Peltz pressured Wendy's to spin off, and


( KFT), where the activist investor is likely to clamor for the spinoff of the Maxwell House and Post brands.