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GE Credit Facility for Wendy's Rebranding


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GE Capital Franchise Finance, an operating unit of General Electric Company (GE - Analyst Report), recently provided a $100 million credit facility to quick-service restaurant (QSR) operator The Wendy's Company (WEN - Analyst Report) to facilitate its total brand transformation.

The Dublin, Ohio-based fast food company is currently undergoing a rebranding process titled ‘Image Activation’ to better connect with customers and attract more footfalls. This includes a refurbished design that includes lounge seating, flat-screen televisions and wireless Internet service. Nearly 150 restaurants from Wendy’s franchisee list have already applied to rebrand themselves, about 100 of which are expected to be open nearing completion of construction by the end of this year.

In addition, Wendy’s is also tweaking its brand logo to reposition its brand. The new logo depicts its strategic shift from hamburgers-only focus to a larger arena of various other quick service offerings. The company has even removed words like ‘old-fashioned hamburgers’ from the logo design. The mascot too has undergone few changes and now sport new backdrop and frames. The refreshed logo was put into effect on packaging, advertising, crew uniforms, menu boards and websites from Mar 2013.

The credit facility from General Electric would be crucial for Wendy’s to meet such huge rebranding expenses. On the other hand, an association with one of the leading QSR brands in one of the biggest brand repositioning exercises that the restaurant industry has seen is likely to benefit General Electric to further strengthen its market position.

General Electric is one of the largest and the most diversified technology and financial services corporations in the world. With products and services ranging from aircraft engines, power generation, water processing, and security technology to medical imaging, business and consumer financing, media content and industrial products, the company serves over 100 million customers worldwide.

Its segments include Power & Water, Oil & Gas, Energy Management, Aviation, Healthcare, Transportation, Home & Business Solutions, and GE Capital. With over 30 years of experience and more than $7 billion in served assets, GE Capital Franchise Finance provides financing to mid-market operators with multiple stores in the restaurant and hospitality industries.

General Electric currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other companies in the industry that are worth mentioning include Danaher Corp. (DHR - Analyst Report) and ITT Corporation (ITT - Analyst Report), both having a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).