Subway with 37,000 branches sold in huge deal – and CEO says fans will notice the difference | The SunAugust 26, 2023
SUBWAY has been sold to a private equity firm for an undisclosed price, according to reports.
Subway's chief executive officer John Chidsey said the deal will "help spread tens of thousands of new locations around the world."
Previously, The Wall Street Journal reported Subway would be selling its company for $9.6billion.
The sandwich chain has been run and operated by two families over the past sixty years, meaning most of the sale will go toward foundations connected to the founders.
This is the first time in decades the fast food giant faces new ownership.
Atlanta-based Roark Capital secured the bid over TDR Capital and Sycamore Partners, who were also interested in acquiring Subway.
"This transaction reflects Subway's long-term growth potential, and the substantial value of our brand and our franchisees around the world," Chidsey said in a statement.
"Subway has a bright future with Roark, and we are committed to continuing to focus on a win-win-win approach for our franchisees, our guests and our employees."
The U.S. Sun reached out to Subway and Roark Capital for additional information.
To date, Subway operates 37,000 sandwich store locations globally.
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WHAT THIS MEANS FOR THE CHAIN
While Subway's recent acquisition does mean a lot could change for the sandwich company, the store operates as a franchise model.
Due to that, Roark has acquired the brand and business, not individual stores, which will continue to be run by franchisees.
A Subway spokesperson previously told The U.S. Sun that all restaurants are independently owned and operated.
Back in February, Subway announced it would be considering the potential sale of the business.
The sandwich chain became the eighth-largest U.S. restaurant chain during the 2000s, and customers still know and love the restaurant for its handcrafted specialty handhelds today.
However, in recent years, Subway has been moving in the opposite direction of growth.
The chain shuttered 500 U.S. stores last year and has been working to update its menu to boost sales.
In May, Subway added an additional six new subs under its Signature Series.
The company has also been looking to upgrade its kitchen productivity and quality.
In July, the chain made an $80million upgrade when it rolled out meat slicers at every U.S. location.
All of these changes might have paid off as Subway continues a trend of positive same store sales after 10 consecutive quarters.
The company said Roark Capital will continue to "execute its strategy" with a focus on sales growth, menu innovation, restaurant modernization, overall guest experience improvements and international expansion.
Throughout the sale process, all Subway locations are operating as normal.
WHO IS ROARK CAPITAL
Subway's new buyer Roark Capital knows its way around the fast food industry.
The firm currently holds $37 billion in assets under management, according to Street Insider.
Roark has specialized in investments in consumer companies with a special eye toward those that operate as or similarly to franchises.
Its portfolio includes pretzel store Auntie Anne’s, fast food chain Arby’s and ice cream shop Baskin Robbins.
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The private equity firm has been looking to get its hands on a sandwich chain for a while, as it previously held a stake in Jimmy John's as well as Midwest chain Culver's.
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