Dunkin' Brands discuss potential sale to Inspire Brands

Marco Green
October 26, 2020

Shares of Dunkin' Brands, which has about 13,000 donut shops and 8,000 Baskin-Robbins ice cream store locations around the USA, jumped 16% early Monday to an all-time high of $104.87 on news of the deal, which was first reported by the New York Times.

Inspire Brands writes about itself, "Inspire Brands is a multi-brand restaurant company whose portfolio includes more than 11,000 Arby's, Buffalo Wild Wings, SONIC Drive-In, Rusty Taco, and Jimmy John's restaurants worldwide". Dunkin' Brands revenue fell 20 percent in the second quarter, and the company said franchisees closed 200 restaurants permanently.

Shares of Dunkin' Brands have more than doubled since March on investor optimism its mobile order app and loyalty program have boosted sales during the pandemic.

Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin Robbins chains owner Dunkin' Brands Group Inc has held preliminary discussions to be acquired by Inspire Brands, a private equity-backed restaurant company, Dunkin' said in a statement on Sunday.

Inspire Brands said it had no comment on Monday, but Dunkin' shares jumped 16 percent to $104.87.

Inspire is part of the private equity company Roark Capital Group, also based in Atlanta.

The two people requested anonymity because the talks are confidential, and they cautioned that the deal was not yet final and could still fall apart. Dunkin' already brings in more than half its revenue through drinks, and it dropped "Donut" from its name previous year as it seeks to shift its emphasis to coffee and take on Starbucks more directly. A spokesman for Inspire Brands had no comment.

But the global coronavirus pandemic has hurt sales of both firms.

However, it appears the company's business is improving.

The chain has been private before.

In 2005, Dunkin' Brands was sold by Pernod Ricard to a group of buyers including Bain Capital, The Carlyle Group and Thomas H. Lee Partners for $2.4 billion. The firms took it public six years later.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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