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Inspire Brands To Acquire Dunkin’ Brands

The multi-brand holding company will pay $11.3 billion for the iconic QSR chain.

On Friday, Inspire Brands made the announcement that many industry insiders had been anticipating for weeks: the holding company has reached an agreement to purchase Dunkin’ Brands

The acquisition of any brand with a footprint in the same ballpark as Dunkin’, which has nearly 13,000 locations worldwide, is going to come with a high price tag. Still, the $11.3 billion transaction is surely one of the franchise world’s biggest sales this year — maybe ever.

Inspire Brands, formerly Arby's Restaurant Group Inc., is the parent company of that chain as well as Buffalo Wild Wings, Sonic Drive-In, Jimmy John's and Rusty Taco. With the addition of Dunkin’, the company’s combined portfolio will represent $26 billion in systemwide sales.

Dunkin’ Brands itself is a multi-brand franchisor, which includes not only Dunkin’ restaurants but also the 8,000-unit Baskin-Robbins chain, which is included in the transaction.

“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. 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,” said Dave Hoffmann, Chief Executive Officer of Dunkin’ Brands in a statement released by Inspire. “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.”

The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2020.