DUBLIN, OH-The Wendy’s International restaurant chain has signsed a development deal to open its first locations in Malaysia by early 2008. The company’s agreement is with Berjaya Corp. Berhad through Berhad’s wholly owned subsidiary, Nadi Klasik Sdn Bhd, which has been granted the right to develop and operate Wendy’s restaurants in Malaysia.

Berjaya plans to open the first of these restaurants in Kuala Lumpur in late 2007 or early 2008 and will continue development in the Klang Valley region and other cities over the next 10 years. The new franchisee expects to open more than 70 Wendy’s restaurants in Malaysia.

According to Dave Near, chief operations officer for Wendy’s International, Berjaya and its chairman and CEO, Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Vincent Tan, have considerable experience in successfully operating several well-known restaurant brands. Berjaya, which has extensive experience in developing and managing quick service restaurants in Malaysia,operates the Starbucks and Kenny Rogers Roasters franchises there, as well as Borders Books stores.

Based in Kuala Lumpur, Berjaya is a diversified, publicly traded company that is engaged in core businesses including hotels and resorts, food and beverage companies, financial services, consumer marketing and manufacturing, among others. The Wendy’s agreement with the company is part of the restaurant chain’s plan to focus development efforts in key markets outside of North America, according to James C. Hartenstein, a Wendy’s SVP in international operations.

As part of this expansion, Wendy’s recently established an office in Hong Kong to serve franchise partners, suppliers and staff throughout the region, as well as to prepare for expansion into new markets. Wendy’s opened its first restaurant in Asia in 1980 and has approximately 150 restaurants in the Asia Pacific region.

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