Subway Agrees to $9.6 Billion Sale to Dunkin’ Owner Roark Capital

Subway employee preparing guest’s order (Photo Courtesy of Subway

Subway on Thursday agreed to a $9.6 billion sale to the private equity firm that owns Dunkin’ Brands, the company announced. Roark Capital today finalized the purchase of the sandwich chain.

“The transaction is a major milestone in Subway’s multi-year transformation journey, combining Subway’s global presence and brand strength with Roark’s deep expertise in restaurant and franchise business models,” Subway said in a statement. The sale ends an over fifty-year ownership by the companies’ two founding families.

Subway was founded in 1965 by 17-year-old Fred DeLuca and family friend Peter Buck — opening their first shop, Pete’s Super Submarines, in Bridgeport, CT.

Roark Capital, an Atlanta-based private equity firm, has $37 billion in assets under management. It is also an investor in Auntie Anne’s, Baskin Robbins, Buffalo Wild Wings, Sonic Drive-In, and Arby’s.

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Subway has about 37,000 restaurants in more than 100 countries. Subway was up for auction bid for nearly a year before Roark came in with the $9.6 billion sale bid. Roark’s acquisition comes after reports that private equity firms TDR Capital and Sycamore Partners were negotiating a possible joint bid. The number for that potential bid was unknown before the Roark Capital acquisition.