Meritage Hospitality

(MHG)

, a franchisee of Wendy's and O'Charley's restaurants, said its board appointed a special committee to evaluate the possibility of going private.

Members of the special committee include directors James P. Bishop, Duane Kluting and Brian N. McMahon.

The company said its board doesn't think the current stock price is "representative of the underlying value and earnings potential."

As part of its evaluation, the committee will consider maintaining a market in the company's shares by relisting on a quotation service that doesn't require issuers to be registered with the

Securities and Exchange Commission

, such as the pink sheets.

Meritage, based in Grand Rapids, Mich., operates 51 restaurants, including 48 Wendy's outlets. The company's shares were recently up 46 cents, or 9%, to $5.46.