Triarc Expanding

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Triarc Expanding

NEW YORK -- Triarc Cos., franchiser of more than 3,300 restaurants under the Arby's, Pasta Connection and T.J. Cinnamons brands, said the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York has confirmed Triarc's plan of reorganization, enabling it to acquire Sybra Inc., the second largest franchisee of the Arby's brand.

Sybra, a subsidiary of ICH Corp., filed for Chapter 11 in February. It owns and operates 239 Arby's restaurants in nine states but primarily in Michigan, Texas, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Florida.

The acquisition is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2002. In return for 100 percent of the equity of a reorganized Sybra, Triarc will pay $8 million to ICH's creditors. In addition, Triarc will make a $14.5-million investment in Sybra and Sybra will remain exclusively liable for its long-term debt and capital lease obligations, which were approximately $104 million as of Dec. 31, 2001.

"The Sybra acquisition represents a unique opportunity to own a group of highly profitable Arby's restaurants with a bright future. Sybra also has an excellent operating management team," said Nelson Peltz, Triarc's chairman and CEO. "We believe that the acquisition of Sybra solidifies Triarc's commitment to the Arby's brand and the Arby's system and will increase the value of the Arby's brand."

The move comes at an important time for Arby's, which last month introduced its "Restaurant of the Future" concept in Allentown, Pa. The redesigned concept, which is expected to be the cornerstone of the chain's future growth, includes new technologies developed with manufacturers to provide faster service, fresher food and an upscale environment.