Jimmy John's sells stake to equity firm

CHAMPAGNE Ill. Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwich Shops, a 475-unit takeout and delivery chain, has sold one-third of its outstanding shares to Weston Presidio, a San Francisco-based private equity firm that also holds stakes in JetBlue Airways and Wild Oats Markets.


Weston will be a “strategic partner” in the continuing expansion of Jimmy John’s, according to a statement from Jimmy John Liautaud, the chain’s founder, chairman and largest shareholder. “Together, we will take Jimmy John’s to the next level,” he said.



Liautaud said he and other Jimmy John executives will continue to run the company he founded in 1983 at age 19. Company-owned and franchised units now operate in 34 states.



Weston Presidio has invested in some 300 companies and currently has about $3.3 billion of equity under management.