by Anirban Sen

August 24 – Subway has agreed to sell itself to private equity firm Roark Capital in a deal valuing the sandwich chain at more than $9 billion, sources said, ending a long-running auction in which private Multiple bids were seen from equity firms.

Roark beat a late challenge from a rival bidding group led by TDR Capital and Sycamore Partners, which also submitted a final bid of more than $9 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.

Subway, which has about 37,000 restaurants in more than 100 countries, did not disclose terms of the deal on Thursday.

The deal will make Roark Capital one of the largest restaurant operators in the world. It controls Inspire Brands, owner of restaurant chains including Jimmy John’s, Arby’s, Baskin-Robbins and Buffalo Wild Wings.

Subway said in February it was exploring a possible sale, drawing interest from private equity firms including Roark, Advent International, TDR Capital and TPG, as well as the asset management arm of Goldman Sachs.

The restaurant chain has been owned by its founding families since the first outlet opened in Bridgeport, Connecticut in 1965 as “Pete’s Super Submarine”. It was founded by 17-year-old Fred Deluca and his family friend Peter Buck.

Subway struggled for years to attract customers amid intense competition from rivals such as Popeyes and Chick-fil-A until its turnaround plan in 2021 when it revamped its menu and increased marketing spending. extended.

These efforts appear to be paying off for Subway, as its same-store sales in North America are projected to grow 9.3% in the first half of 2023.

first published: 24 August 2023 | 5:30 pm First

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