Two of the Arby’s Systems largest and most influential franchisees have announced plans that will bring the two companies together. Atlanta-based RTM Restaurant Group and Minneapolis-based Franchise Associates, Inc. (FAI) have signed a letter or agreement for RTM to purchase the stock of FAI, announced Charles E. Nadler, president of FAI and Russ Umphenour, president of RTM. FAI will become a wholly owned subsidiary of RTM. The transaction is tentatively scheduled to close in mid-October. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Umphenour commented that the pending acquisition is a part of the company’s long-term strategy.

“Our goal is to be a billion dollar company by the year 2004. One of our key strategies is to create autonomous business units that take ownership of running the day-to-day operations, while using our team in Atlanta for problem solving and counsel. Franchise Associates has an extremely competent and stable executive team with a proven track record of superior results. There is much we can learn fro FAI and apply to our other Arby’s operations, said Umphenour.

FAI’s Nadler sees growth opportunities for the company as part of the motivation to join RTM.

“This transaction will allow our people to continue pruning the company as they have for may years while gaining access to RTM’s financial and strategic resources. Being a part of RTM creates opportunities to grow and provides our people with career paths beyond our company.”

The local Minneapolis FAI executive team has over 100 years combined experience with Arby’s. The team includes Dave Erickson, director of operations, Doug Kennedy, vice president of administration, Nancy Krasean, vice president of marketing, Ron Stawski, vice president of product development and new store design and Mark Windfeldt, vice president of finance.

Both FAI and RTM are recognized as pioneers of the restaurant industry’s experiment in dual-branding. Dual-brands offer more than one restaurant concept in one facility in order to capture more sales with essentially the same overhead. FAI operates sixteen Arby’s/Sbarro’s units, plus 53 Arby’s restaurants. RTM operates six Arby’s/Mrs. Winner’s units and eight Mrs.Winner’s/Del Taco units, plus over 700 Arby’s units.

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