Dunkin' Donuts Plans Overseas Expansion: Hot Trends

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Popular searches on the Internet Wednesday include Dunkin' Donuts ( DNKN) as the coffee and donuts chain reportedly plans to open 550 to 650 new stores this year, a majority of which will be located in countries other than the U.S.

Dunkin' Donuts, which just opened its third store in India, plans to launch 350 to 450 stores outside the U.S. this year. It plans to add 80 to 100 stores in India within the next five years. The company is said to be focusing on expansion in the Asia-Pacific region, where countries like India, China and Taiwan offer large growth opportunity for Dunkin'.

Dunkin' also announced it will honor National Donut Day -- Friday, June 1 -- by giving away a free donut with the purchase of any beverage. No coupon is required for the offer, which will be at participating locations only.

Pep Boys ( PBY) is trending as the auto shop chain has terminated its proposed merger with Gores Group.

Gores Group, a California private-equity firm, was set to buy Pep Boys for $15 a share in a deal announced on Jan. 30.

Gores Group will pay Pep Boys a settlement fee of $50 million and reimburse the company for merger-related expenses.

Fiat Industrial is another popular search. The auto manufacturer is planning to merge with CNH Global NV ( CNH), Fiat's farm and construction business.

Fiat Chairman Sergio Marchionne said the deal would simplify Fiat's structure, and thereby lure in international investors, drive growth and perhaps boost its credit rating. In Fiat's proposal for the merger, the combined company's shares would trade on the New York Stock Exchange, with a secondary listing in Europe.

Fiat hopes the transaction will be completed by the end of the year, though it is subject to shareholder approval.

In a statement, CNH took no immediate position on the proposal. Fiat currently owns 88% of CNH.

The chatter on Main Street (a.k.a. Google, Yahoo! and other search sites) is always of interest to investors on Wall Street. Thus, each day, TheStreet compiles the stories that are trending on the Web, and highlights the news that could make stocks move.

-- Written by Brittany Umar.
Brittany joined TheStreet.com TV in November 2006 after completing a degree in Journalism and Media Studies at Rutgers College. Previously, Brittany interned at the local ABC affiliate in New York City WABC-TV 7 where she helped research and produce On Your Side, a popular consumer advocacy segment.

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