Inspire Brands Acquires Dunkin’ for $11.3 Billion

Biggest deal in the restaurant industry since Burger King’s acquisition of Tim Hortons
Photograph: Shutterstock

ATLANTA & CANTON, Mass. — Inspire Brands, the owner and franchisor of Arby's, Buffalo Wild Wings and other restaurant groups, has acquired Dunkin’ Brands for more than $11 billion.

Inspire has commenced a tender offer to acquire all outstanding shares—including any debt—of Dunkin’ Brands for $106.50 per share in cash, which equates to about $11.3 billion. The combined portfolio will now represent $26 billion in systemwide sales, more than 31,600 restaurants, 600,000 employees, more than 3,200 franchisees and more than 25 million loyalty members worldwide.

It’s the biggest deal in the restaurant industry in six years, since Burger King’s acquisition of Tim Hortons, according to a report by CSP sister publication Restaurant Business.

“Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins are category leaders with more than 70 years of rich heritage, and together they are two of the most iconic restaurant brands in the world,” said Paul Brown, co-founder and CEO of Inspire Brands. “By joining Inspire, these brands will add complementary guest experiences and occasions to our current portfolio. Further, they will strengthen Inspire through their scaled international platform and robust consumer packaged goods licensing infrastructure, as well as add more than 15 million loyalty members. We are excited to welcome Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins’ employees, franchisees, and suppliers to the Inspire family.”

Both boards unanimously approved  the deal, and the companies expect to close the transaction by the end of 2020.

As of August 2020, Dunkin’ was set to close as many as 800 U.S. locations this year, and another 350 internationally, as part of a global effort to reassess its real estate portfolio and shed locations that didn’t fit with its long-term plan. Of those 800, 450 were inside of Speedway locations. Speedway is No. 13 on CSP’s 2020 Top 202 ranking of convenience-store chains by number of retail outlets.

“Today’s announcement is a testament to our world-class group of franchisees, licensees, employees and suppliers who have worked together to transform Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins into modern, relevant brands,” said Dave Hoffman, CEO of Dunkin’ Brands. “This team’s grit and determination has enabled us to deliver outsized performance and made our brands among the most elite in the quick-service industry. I am particularly proud of our actions since March of this year. During the global pandemic, we have stood tall. We’ve had each other’s backs and are now stronger than ever. We are excited to bring meaningful value to shareholders who have been with us on this journey and believe that Inspire Brands, a preeminent operator of franchised restaurant concepts, will continue to drive growth for our franchisees while remaining true to all that is unique and special about the Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins brands.”

Atlanta-based Inspire Brands Inc. is a multi-brand restaurant company whose portfolio includes more than 11,000 Arby’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, Sonic Drive-In, and Jimmy John’s restaurants worldwide. Since being founded in 2018, the company has become one of the largest restaurant groups globally, with $15 billion in annual systemwide sales. It is owned by Atlanta-based private equity firm Roark Capital Group.

Canton, Mass.-based Dunkin’ Brands, founded in 2004, operates 13,000 locations Dunkin’ locations in 43 countries, as well as more than 8,000 Baskin-Robbins locations in more than 5,000 countries.

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