TW Services Traces Roots to Diverse Firms

Times Staff Writer

The firm that agreed to buy Denny's on Thursday has its roots in a company that has bought and sold many big names in the last 10 years including Trans World Airlines, Hilton International hotels and Century 21 Real Estate.

TW Services was formed Dec. 30, 1986, from the remains of Transworld Inc. It reflects a massive corporate face lift that took place at Transworld--thanks to corporate raider Ronald O. Perelman, internal restructuring and now the purchase of the Denny's coffee shop chain.

Perelman, who has launched successful raids on such companies as Revlon, still owns about 15% of TW Services, a company official said Thursday.

Until 1984, Transworld focused on the travel business, owning TWA and Hilton International. Today, it is primarily involved in supplying food to schools and sports stadiums and running nursing care homes.

3 Major Subsidiaries

"This is part of a plan that began in 1984," said analyst James J. Murren at Cyrus J. Lawrence Inc., a brokerage firm. "They have concentrated on becoming a consumer-oriented growth company."

TW runs three major subsidiaries: Canteen Corp., an institutional food service and concessions company; Spartan Food Systems, which operates 200 Quincy's family restaurants and 400 Hardee's hamburger restaurant franchises, and American Medical Services, which owns 25 nursing homes in California, Wisconsin, Colorado and Illinois.

TW's current makeup is the result of numerous actions:

Transworld spun off its money-losing Trans World Airlines in 1984.

Century 21 Real Estate Corp. was sold in October of 1985 to Metropolitan Life Insurance.

Faced with an unwanted bid by Perelman, Transworld decided to liquidate in December of 1986. It sold its 88-hotel Hilton International chain (not related to Hilton Hotels Corp.) to UAL Inc., and spun off its food services and nursing homes into TW Services.

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