CANTON, Mass.—Dunkin’ Brand Group, the parent of Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins, has held early talks to go private in an acquisition by Inspire Brands Inc., owner of Arby’s, Buffalo Wild Wings and Jimmy John’s, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Founded in 2018, Inspire Brands reports $14.6 billion in sales and more than 11,000 restaurants. It is part of the consumer-focused private-equity firm Roark Capital Group.
The acquisition offer comes as Dunkin’ has wrestled with lower sales due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The company has a market value of $7.3 billion, based on Friday’s share closing price. In July, the chain announced it would shutter about 800 U.S. locations with low sales volumes that were unprofitable before the pandemic began.
Dunkin’ Brands Group reported there was no certainty any deal will be reached.
The Canton, Massachusetts-based quick-service chain has more than 21,000 points of distribution in 60-plus countries. Dunkin’ went public in 2011 after it was acquired by Bain Capital Partners LLC, the Carlyle Group and Thomas H. Lee Partners LP in 2006. In 2018, Dunkin’ deleted the word “Donuts” from its brand due to its increased focus on beverages, which make up a large part of sales.