Subway’s Billion-Dollar Sale: Major Fast Food Acquisition by Rival’s Owner

After operating as a family-owned enterprise for nearly sixty years, Subway has been acquired by the private equity firm Roark Capital in a groundbreaking transaction. However, Subway isn’t the sole sandwich chain within Roark Capital’s portfolio.

This acquisition brings Subway and its competitor, Jimmy John’s, together under the same ownership. Inspire Brands, in which Roark Capital holds a majority stake, oversees Jimmy John’s. The announcement of this development was made through a press release on Thursday. Although the specific terms of the deal were not disclosed, the Wall Street Journal had previously reported that Roark Capital extended a $9.6 billion offer to Subway. This came after Subway was listed for sale in February for $10 billion.

This agreement with Roark Capital represents one of the most significant purchases in the fast food industry, according to CNN. Roark Capital boasts a substantial asset value of $37 billion and an extensive food-related portfolio. This portfolio includes investments in various brands such as Arby’s, Auntie Anne’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, Carvel, and Sonic. One of the most substantial transactions in this sector was Inspire Brands’ acquisition of Dunkin’ for $11.3 billion in October 2020.

The sale of Subway occurs as the brand endeavors to undergo revitalization through store renovations and an emphasis on using freshly sliced meats. This acquisition signifies a fresh start for the sandwich chain, which had been under the ownership of the DeLuca and Buck families. Fred DeLuca and Dr. Peter Buck established the first Subway outlet in Bridgeport, Connecticut, back in 1965, as detailed on the company’s official website. Presently, Subway stands as one of the world’s largest restaurant chains, boasting a presence across over 100 countries with approximately 37,000 locations.

With aspirations of ongoing expansion, Subway CEO John Chidsey elaborated on the transaction, expressing that it underscores Subway’s potential for long-term growth and the substantial value that the brand and its global network of franchisees bring. This sentiment was conveyed in the press release.

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