SOURCE: Meritage Hospitality Group Inc.

Meritage Hospitality Group Inc.

April 28, 2009 09:58 ET

Meritage Reports Acquisition of 20 Wendy's Restaurants in Jacksonville, Florida

GRAND RAPIDS, MI--(Marketwire - April 28, 2009) - Meritage Hospitality Group Inc. (OTCQX: MHGU), the nation's premier franchise operator, today announced the acquisition of 20 Wendy's restaurants located in Jacksonville, Florida.

Robert E. Schermer, Jr., President and CEO of Meritage Hospitality Group Inc., stated, "We believe the fundamentals in the quick-service restaurant industry remain positive and Jacksonville represents a strong entry point for Meritage in to the Southeastern U.S. market." The 20 Wendy's restaurant units make up approximately 35% of the Wendy's located in the Jacksonville designated market area. "The completion of this acquisition represents a significant step for Meritage in its strategy to re-accelerate growth and geographical diversification in its core business. Today we have significantly increased the breadth of our market concentration. We welcome the more than 600 new employees to the Meritage Family," Mr. Schermer stated.

The Company plans to immediately begin an extensive thirty-six month capital improvement plan, which includes the installation of operating and accounting systems, as well as exterior and interior re-imaging of the Wendy's restaurants.

"The Wendy's restaurant system is undergoing a comprehensive multi-year plan to restore restaurant margins back to historical levels, which has profound positive implications to our business model and the entire Wendy's franchise system," added Mr. Schermer.

The Jacksonville acquisition will add approximately $22.0 million annually in sales and is forecasted to be accretive to EBITDA and Net Earnings in the first full year of operations, after closing costs. Mr. Schermer continued, "We are looking forward to delivering opportunistic growth, while building value for our shareholders in these challenging economic times."

Meritage Hospitality Group Inc specializes in the operations and development of restaurants, hotels and leisure properties. Meritage is headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan and currently operates with approximately 2,400 employees. Company filings can be viewed at www.otcqx.com.

SAFE HARBOR STATEMENT

Certain information in this new release, particularly information regarding future economic performance and finances, and plans, expectations and objectives of management, constitutes forward-looking statements. Factors set forth in our Safe Harbor Statement, in addition to other possible factors not listed, could affect the Company's actual results and cause such results to differ materially from those expressed in forward-looking statements. Please review the Company's Safe Harbor Statement at http://www.meritagehospitality.com.

Contact Information

  • CONTACT:
    Gary A. Rose
    CFO, COO
    Meritage Hospitality Group Inc.
    616/776-2600 x. 1112