Inspire Brands to buy Dunkin’ in $11.3 billion deal

Inspire Brands to buy Dunkin’ in $11.3 billion deal
Atlanta-based Inspire Brands is buying Dunkin' and Baskin-Robbins in an $11.3 billion deal. (Bob D'Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk)

Inspire Brands Inc. will buy Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc. in an $11.3 billion deal, the company announced in a news release Friday.

Inspire Brands is the Atlanta-based parent company of more than 11,000 Arby’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, Sonic Drive-In and Jimmy John’s restaurants worldwide. Dunkin' Brands Group owns Dunkin' and Baskin-Robbins stores, Inspire employs more than 325,000 people, directly and via franchises, The New York Times reported.

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The $11.3 billion deal includes the assumption of Dunkin' Brands Group’s debt, The Wall Street Journal reported. The deal is the second-largest acquisition of a North American restaurant chain in a decade, the newspaper reported. It is topped by the $13.3 billion deal for Tim Hortons by Restaurant Brands International, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The deal is expected to be completed by the end of the year, the companies said Friday.

“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,” Paul Brown, co-founder and CEO of Inspire Brands, said in its news release. “By joining Inspire, these brands will add complementary guest experiences and occasions to our current portfolio.”

Inspire Brands said its all-cash deal would value Dunkin’ Brands Group at $106.50 a share, a 20% premium to its closing price on Oct. 23, The Wall Street Journal reported. At that price, it would have a market valuation of $8.8 billion, the newspaper reported. Dunkin' Brands Group stock closed on Friday at $100 per share.

Dunkin' Brands Group, based in Canton, Massachusetts, has drive-through windows in about 70 percent of its restaurants and was investing in digital-ordering tools, the Times reported.

“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," Dave Hoffmann, CEO of Dunkin' Brands, said in a statement. "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.”

Inspire Brands is backed by Roark Capital, an Atlanta-based private-equity firm. The deal is Inspire Brand’s fourth restaurant acquisition since 2018, according to The Wall Street Journal. It was formed through the merger of Arby’s and Buffalo Wild Wings. The company bought Sonic Drive-In for $2.3 billion, including debt, in late 2018, and Jimmy John’s in September 2019, the newspaper reported.