DineEquity, Inc., a Glendale-based franchisor and operator of Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar and IHOP restaurants, announced the sale of 33 company operated Applebee’s.

The purchase agreement, which is expected to close in the third quarter of this year, is with American Franchise Capital, LLC and includes restaurants in Missouri and Indiana.

The transaction is expected to result in net proceeds of approximately $26 million and will result in some $1.3 million in annualized general and administrative savings.

Since acquiring Applebee’s International in 2007, DineEquity has sold a total of 342 company-operated restaurants in an effort to become a primarily franchised company.

In a prepared statement, DineEquity Chairman and CEO Julia Stewart said the transaction with American Franchise Capital marks “yet another significant step in our strategy to transition to a 99 percent franchised restaurant system.”

Angela Melero