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An Inspired Transaction: Dunkin’ Brands to Come Under New Ownership

In a deal valued at $11.3 billion, multiconcept operator Inspire Brands will acquire Dunkin’ Brands Group, which includes Dunkin’ and Baskin Robbins.

As part of the deal, Inspire Brands will assume Dunkin’ Brands debt. The deal will also take Dunkin’ from being a publicly traded company to a private one. The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2020.

Currently there are more than 12,500 Dunkin’ and roughly 8,000 Baskin-Robbins restaurants around the world, per a release announcing the deal. Following the completion of the transaction, Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins will operate as distinct brands within Inspire.

Backed by private equity firm Roark Capital, Inspire Brands’ has made a variety of high-profile acquisitions in recent years. In 2019, for example, for example, Inspire Brands acquired Jimmy John’s. One year earlier, the Inspire Brands acquired Sonic Drive-In. Inspire Brands’ restaurant portfolio also includes Arby’s and Buffalo Wild Wings, among others.

The deal comes after Dunkin’ had spent some time consolidating its system of stores. The company reported a net closure of 466 Dunkin’ locations in the U.S., including 425 limited-menu units in Speedway locations, in a filing that reports the company’s results for its third fiscal quarter of 2020. Globally, the company reported a net closure of 553 Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins locations.

For that third quarter, which ended September 26, Dunkin’ Brands reported a 1.6% increase in revenues. This was due to a 0.9% increase in U.S. same-store sales at Dunkin’ locations and a 6.5% increase in same-store sales at Baskin-Robbins locations. These improvements came despite lower traffic levels due to COVID-19. The traffic decline was offset by increased check averages, per the company.