Wendy’s Announces International Development Plans with The Wissol Group for Expansion into Georgia and Azerbaijan

The Wendy’s Company has announced an agreement with The Wissol Group to develop 25 restaurants in Georgia and the Republic of Azerbaijan over the next 10 years.

Wissol, which is one of the largest business groups in Georgia, is expected to open its first Wendy’s location in Tbilisi in 2013.

“Georgia is a dynamic market with long-term growth potential for the Wendy’s brand, and it plays an important role in our continued expansion in Eastern Europe,” said Darrell van Ligten, President, International, The Wendy’s Company. “We’re privileged to have the opportunity to team with a strong, highly capable organization like The Wissol Group, which shares our passion for quality and exceptional customer service. We believe our great-tasting, signature menu – featuring made-to-order cheeseburgers, premium chicken sandwiches, fresh salads, French fries, chili and Frosty desserts — will appeal to Georgian consumers, who are looking for more options and greater variety with ‘A Cut Above’ quality.”

Dr. Samson Pkhakadze, President, The Wissol Group said, “We are very proud to bring Wendy’s to the Georgian market, where we will focus our development efforts over the next several years. Wendy’s has a well-established global brand image and standardized business practices that will be immediately attractive to Georgian customers. We are also excited that, through Wendy’s, The Wissol Group, will bring additional jobs to our local economy. After French oil giant TOTAL and Italian API, we expect Wendy’s to become one of the most important brands in our growing business portfolio.”

The Wendy’s Company (NASDAQ: WEN) is the world’s third largest quick-service hamburger company. The Wendy’s system includes more than 6,500 franchise and Company restaurants in the U.S. and 27 countries and U.S. territories worldwide. For more information: visit www.aboutwendys.com or www.wendys.com.

The Wissol Group, one of the largest business groups in Georgia, is involved in different sectors of the local economy. The group is represented by its sub-brands: Smart Retail – a fast-growing food supermarket chain; Wissol Petroleum Georgia – owner and operator of the widest chain of gas stations throughout Georgia; Wissol Gas – retailer of environmentally clean product CNG (compressed natural gas); Air Wissol – physical supplier of jet fuel to international airlines using the most modern hydrant system; Wissol Bunkering – physical supplier of bunkering fuels to the vessels calling Georgian ports; Wissol Gas Distribution Company – a gas utility company; Wissol Auto Express – the exclusive partner of French oil giant TOTAL retailing lubricants in Georgia; Delta Holding – construction company; Vellagio – real estate and advertising company; Torpedo Kutaisi – legendary Football Club established in 1946, etc. In 2010, The Wissol Group was named among top ten successful European brands at the European Business Awards in Paris, France, selected among 15,000 business companies participating in the contest. At the National Business Award Mercury 2011, The Wissol Group was recognized as The Best Employer of the Year, and Samson Pkhakadze, the President of The Wissol Group, was named as The Best Entrepreneur of 2011.