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"The Latin America and Caribbean region has a key role in Wendy's(R) strategy internationally," said Jack Schuessler, Wendy's CEO and president. "Mexico is a major market with demonstrated excellent consumer acceptance of the Wendy's concept in the areas where we currently operate and we believe it has great potential for more rapid expansion."
Under the agreement, a newly formed company, Wenco Mexico, SA de CV, will assume management of the six Wendy's restaurants in the cities of Ciudad Juarez and Chihuahua. Wenco Mexico is comprised of the current Wendy's franchisee in the state of Chihuahua and an operating group led by Andres Garcia, president of the Wendy's franchise organization in Venezuela. The first new Wendy's will open this month in downtown Ciudad Juarez, bringing to five the number of restaurants in that city. Future Wendy's expansion will focus on the northern part of Mexico before expanding nationwide.
According to Jim Rieger, senior vice president-international for Wendy's, "Andres Garcia and his team in Venezuela opened their first Wendy's in 1997 and will have more than 40 locations in that country by the end of this year. They are focused on outstanding operations and customer service, thereby providing a satisfying experience for their guests."
"The group in Mexico has this same focus and by joining forces we expect the combined franchisee's team to quickly develop a major presence in Mexico," added James Hartenstein, Wendy's regional vice president for Latin America and the Caribbean.
Wendy's currently has eight restaurants in the Mexican cities of Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Saltillo and Merida. Throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, there are about 145 Wendy's. Wendy's International, Inc. is one of the world's largest operating and franchising companies, with US$7.1 billion in 1999 systemwide sales and two quality brands?Wendy's and Tim Hortons.
Wendy's Old Fashioned Hamburgers was founded in 1969 by Dave Thomas  and is the third largest quick-service hamburger chain in the world with more than 5,600 restaurants in the U.S, Canada and international markets. Tim Hortons was founded in 1964 by Tim Horton and Ron Joyce and is the largest coffee and fresh baked goods chain in Canada. There are more than 1,800 restaurants in North America.