Big news today that Wendy’s has financially bitch-slapped the owners of Arby’s by replying with an immediate ‘No thanks, bro’ to their takeover/merger offers.

Wendy’s has been hitting some rocky ground in the past year after a few menu choices flopped. Adding insult to injury, I’m sure the rising cost of wheat coupled with the general economic recession made them a good target for a merger. Or so the big wigs at Trian Partners LP thought.

The Wendy’s Board Committee rejected two alternate Trian offers less than 24 hours after receiving them.

Scorned like a jealous lover, the Arby’s owners fired back with a public letter to the Wendy’s shareholders begging them to put some pressure on the Exec board to accept an offer.

It is now time for Wendy’s shareholders to decide the future of their company. We therefore intend to contact our fellow shareholders for the purpose of calling a special meeting of shareholders at which all shareholders will have the opportunity to vote on the future direction of Wendy’s.

Did you catch those rapid-fire ‘shareholders’ references? That’s how you play hardball, son!

The guys at Trian have done some good work in the past though. They are known for helping out popular food companies by swooping in and cutting costs, creating more efficient business models. It worked at Cadbury-Schweppes.

But Wendy’s is a different story. Read any poster inside that joint and you’ll know Dave Thomas was not a fan of cutting corners (hence the square patties). I wouldn’t mind seeing an Arby’s / Wendy’s merger though, it would have some upsides for the consumer. Premium roast beef Baconator, anyone?

Reuters: Trian says Wendy’s rejected 2 takeover offers, April 18, 2008
CNN Money: Trian ‘very concerned’ about Wendy’s current direction, April 18, 2008