Wendy’s International, Inc. (NYSE:WEN) announced today it has signed development agreements to open Wendy’s restaurants in two major Mexico cities–Monterrey and Mexico City.

Under these agreements, two new franchisees will build and operate more than 60 restaurants over the next seven years. The first of these restaurants is expected to open before year-end.

Wendy’s existing franchisee, Wenco-Mexico S.A., currently operates 12 restaurants in the northern Mexico cities of Ciudad Juarez and Chihuahua.

“Mexico is an important market for the Wendy’s brand, and we are pleased to enter into these new franchise relationships,” says Chief Operations Officer Dave Near. “These agreements are part of Wendy’s long-term plan to focus development efforts in specific key markets outside of the United States. We have been developing and preparing our support infrastructure, while conducting detailed market analyses of various global markets as part of a disciplined approach to grow our International business.”

The new Mexico City franchise is an affiliate of Corpogas S.C., and the new Monterrey franchise is Grupo Refran.

Corpogas, based in Mexico City, is headed by Ricardo A. Vega Serrador, whose family has been in the restaurant business since 1959. Under his leadership, the company has grown from a single restaurant to a conglomerate that includes a chain of fine dining restaurants under the Grupo Castellano brand. Corpogas is one of the largest gasoline and convenience store retailers in Mexico, with more than 100 locations. They are the exclusive representatives and distributors for Ferrari and Maserati in Mexico. In addition, Corpogas operates a commissary and food service distribution facility.

Grupo Refran, of Monterrey, has operated Sirloin Stockade restaurants for over 15 years and they currently have 12 locations in Mexico. Grupo Refran was also part of the group that brought Applebee’s restaurants to Mexico. Grupo Refran’s CEO, Jorge Emilio Garza Trevino, is a prominent businessman in Monterrey, serving on various corporate boards and philanthropic institutions. He is currently a District Governor of Rotary International in Mexico. Grupo Refran also owns and operates commercial properties, retail stores, an automobile dealership and a convention venue and commissary.

“Both Corpogas and Grupo Refran are proven restaurant operators with extensive distribution experience,” says James C. Hartenstein, Wendy’s senior vice president, international. “These franchises, along with Wendy’s existing franchise in Mexico, will provide consumers with more opportunities to experience the quality, freshness and variety offered by Wendy’s.”

Wendy’s has more than 190 restaurants in the Latin America/Caribbean region in 14 markets.

Wendy’s international division also operates in the Asia/Pacific region where its most recent new international market, Malaysia, was announced late last year.

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