The Philippine oil and education conglomerate is in talks with at least one financial adviser about potentially selling the two companies together, three of the sources with direct knowledge of the matter said.
The deal could fetch up to $200 million for the two assets combined, two of the sources added. The sources declined to be identified as they were not authorized to speak to the media. Udenna owns Wendy’s and Conti’s through its Eight-8-Ate Holdings food subsidiary, according to its website. “We are still exploring available opportunities that would be beneficial to the group,” a spokesman for Udenna told Reuters on Wednesday. The Philippines’ economy grew 7.4% in the second quarter from a year earlier, the second fastest in Southeast Asia for the period, behind Vietnam, following the easing of lengthy COVID restrictions -19. Tycoon Dennis Uy, a close associate and Duterte’s top campaign donor, founded Udenna in 2002. He bought a 70% stake in Conti’s in 2018 for an undisclosed sum, according to his website. A year later, it acquired all Wendy’s restaurants in the Philippines, becoming the country’s franchised fast food chain. She did not provide financial details of this purchase. Conti’s has 70 stores in the Philippines. Its founding owners hold a minority stake in the company. Wendy’s has 52 stores in the Philippines, mostly in the capital.
The rapid expansion of Uy’s business, fueled by debt, began when Duterte took power in 2016, but revenues declined significantly during the pandemic. The company has long insisted that it received no preferential treatment under Duterte.
Amid deep losses, Uy had to resolve to sell its assets, including a stake in the Philippines’ main gas field in the South China Sea.