Dunkin' CEO trolls short-seller Jim Chanos: Since you bet against us, our stock is higher

Key Points
  • Dunkin' Brands chief Nigel Travis defends the doughnut maker's "asset-light model," which Chanos cited as a reason for his short.
  • Chanos revealed on CNBC his Dunkin' position on April 26.
  • Travis says the franchise model is a "great return on investment" at Dunkin'. "It's actually utilizing other people's money."
Dunkin' celebrates National Donut Day: CEO

Dunkin' Brands Chairman and CEO Nigel Travis is defending the doughnut maker's "asset-light model," which short-seller Jim Chanos cited as a reason he's betting against the stock.

"Since he made that prediction our stock has gone up," Travis said on CNBC on Friday.

Chanos revealed on CNBC his Dunkin' short on April 26.

Since then, shares Dunkin' Brands — owner of the Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins ice cream chains — gained nearly 3 percent as of Thursday's close.

Chanos said he does not like the idea of restaurant chains not owning their locations while "basically clipping the coupons, collecting royalties" from the franchises. The founder and president of Kynikos Associates told CNBC on April 26 his short position on Dunkin' was "about a year" old. Later that day, Travis said Chanos is "absolutely wrong."

"The thing he misses is how you manage your franchisees," Travis said Friday on "Squawk Box," stressing the importance of "listening and working together" with the owner-operators. "Our 'asset-light model' is one that most other companies have followed. It's [a] great return on investment. It's actually utilizing other people's money."

Dunkin' Donuts

"We feel very happy with our growth prospects in future years, particularly the Dunkin' side," Travis added, saying franchisees are behind the company's roadmap. "We feel we've created the environment to succeed into the future."

Friday was National Doughnut Day. But unlike other events like this that are purely marketing, National Doughnut Day was started in 1938 by The Salvation Army to honor its members who served soldiers doughnuts during World War I.