Industry News | March 22, 2000

Winners Int. Partners with BankBoston, RTM

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In a move to strengthen its ability to grow in the restaurant industry, Morgan Hill, president and CEO of Winners International Restaurants, Inc. announced January 4, 2000 the formation of a strategic and financial partnership between the executive management team of Winners International, the RTM Restaurant Group, and BankBoston Development Company (BBDC). This new partnership is the next step in the evolution of Winners International and its core brands Mrs. Winners Chicken & Biscuits and Lee's Famous Recipe. Winners International is a multi-category, multi-brand, international growth company focused on the quick, convenient distribution of food for both profit and purpose.

With this partnership, Winners International strengthens its financial position and creates a solid foundation for its aggressive growth strategy, both domestically and internationally. The infusion of capital generated for the partnership will allow Winners International and its core brands to seek new development deals, upgrade existing sores, and implement a new store design.

Hill stated, "From the outset, our vision for Winners International has been to place our product in the hands of people worldwide—"Food Within Your Reach"—by leveraging a variety of locations, as well as non-traditional and retail distribution channels to create opportunities for all of our partners to grow. Our partnership with BBDC and the RTM Restaurant Group will further those efforts by allowing us to create franchising opportunities in minority and urban markets through growth, explore alternative distribution channels, seek out opportunities in retail and free-standing locations, and create partnership opportunities for franchisees and company employees."

This partnership will create a new Board of Directors consisting of Dan Coleman, director of equity for BBDC; Francisco De Jesus, vice president of equity for BBDC; an outside director to be determined by BBDC; Morgan Hill, president and CEO of Winners International; Russ Umphenour, president of the RTM Restaurant Group; Doug Benham, senior vice president and chief financial officer, and J. Russell Welch, senior vice president, both for RTM. Philosophically, Winners International, the RTM Restaurant Group, and BBDC will reinforce their shared values of creating opportunities worldwide.

Headquartered in Atlanta, Winners International, operating company for Mrs. Winner's Chicken & Biscuits and Lee's Famous Recipe, operates over 350 restaurants in the eastern U.S. and in western Canada. RTM Restaurant Group, also headquartered in Atlanta, operates over 700 restaurants in 26 states.

BankBoston Development Company is a Fleet Boston Financial Group Company. Fleet Boston Corporation is a $185 billion diversified financial services company and the eighth largest bank holding company in the U.S. The company's lines of business include commercial and consumer banking, institutional and investment banking, cash management, trade services, export finance, mortgage banking, commercial finance, asset-based lending, commercial real estate lending, equipment leasing, government banking, investment management services, private equity investments, credit cards, discount brokerage services, student loan processing, and full-service banking in Latin America. Through 5,750 outlets, Fleet Boston serves approximately 20 million customers. Fleet Boston Corporation is headquartered in Boston and listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

News and information presented in this release has not been corroborated by QSR, Food News Media, or Journalistic, Inc.