Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Meritage Hospitality Group Inc. announced it has acquired two Wendy's franchised portfolios consisting of nine Wendy's restaurants in Atlanta and 10 Wendy's restaurants in Richmond, Va.

In addition, the company has opened a new Wendy's restaurant located on Trout River Road in Jacksonville, Fla., marking its 111th restaurant in operation.

"We welcome our 500 new employees in Atlanta, Richmond and Jacksonville to the Meritage family," said Robert E. Schermer, Jr., CEO of Meritage Hospitality Group Inc. "The strength of our web-based operating platform, and the brand reimaging and modernization of Wendy's restaurants remains a hallmark of our growth strategy and workforce opportunities."

The company plans to implement major capital improvements in its acquired locations, beginning with the installation of Wendy's comprehensive back-of-house operating and accounting systems, along with "Image Activation" and other key brand initiatives designed to contemporize both the interior and exterior guest experience.

The transactions represent the company's completion of seven Wendy's acquisitions in recent years. The acquisitions were financed through an acquisition credit facility with First Franchise Capital Corporation, the company's primary Wendy's restaurant lender. The combination of the acquisitions and newly opened restaurant will add approximately $27.0 million in annual sales and is forecasted to be materially accretive to EBITDA and net earnings per common share in 2013.

Meritage currently operates 111 restaurants in six states including Georgia, Michigan, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

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