Breaking News from The Globe and Mail

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

DUBLIN, Ohio — Canadian coffee and doughnut chain Tim Hortons Inc., which is owned by Wendy's International Inc., filed paperwork estimating it will offer 29-million shares in a price range of $18 to $20 (U.S.) per share in its upcoming initial public offering.

Wendy's, based in Dublin, Ohio, will continue to own about 85 per cent, or around 160-million shares, of Tim Hortons' common stock after the IPO, according to a filing Monday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Wendy's stake could be reduced to about 83 per cent if the IPO's underwriters fully exercise an overallotment.

Wendy's intends to spin off the remaining stake to its shareholders within nine to 18 months after the IPO, which is expected in March, according to the filing.

Under the $20 share price estimate, the IPO could raise $580-million for Tim Hortons. Including the shares Wendy's will retain, the chain would have a market capitalization of up to $3.8-billion.

Most of the money raised will be used to pay off debt Tim Hortons owes its parent company.

The stock will trade under the symbol THI on the Toronto Stock Exchange and Tim Hortons has applied for the same symbol on the New York Stock Exchange.

The offering is being underwritten by Goldman Sachs, RBC Capital Markets Corp., JPMorgan Chase and Scotia Capital.

Tim Hortons has made steady sales gains during a sluggish year for Wendy's, the nation's third-largest burger chain.

Tim Hortons had 2,885 stores in Canada and the United States as of Jan. 1 and recorded revenues of $1.2-billion last year, according to Wendy's latest earnings report.

In a January offering of Chipotle Mexican Grill, owned by McDonald's Corp., nearly 7.9 million shares doubled in their first day of trading to close at $44.

Burger King Holdings Inc. has announced plans to go public as well.

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