Area 15 Ventures LLC, a private-equity firm based in Castle Rock, Colo., has acquired the 50-year-old Port of Subs sandwich brand, the companies announced this week.
Reno, Nev.-based Port of Subs, which has 130 units in seven western states, was founded in 1972. Area 15 Ventures also owns the Daddy’s Chicken Shack brand and is working on regional developments.
The deal was finalized March 31, and Area 15 assumed ownership on April 1, a representative said.
Area 15 is led by Dave Liniger, the co-founder and former CEO of Re/Max, the real estate company. Representatives said the acquisition aims to increase Port of Subs’ growth, focusing on a regional development model.
“Port of Subs is a welcomed addition to the Area 15 Ventures portfolio, and there is no doubt that this is a concept equipped for broadscale growth,” said Liniger in a statement.
“When seeking out new concepts to add to our roster, we do our due diligence in confirming the brand has the potential to grow on a global scale, thrive in today’s competitive QSR market and, above all, has the highest quality product that aligns directly with what consumers are looking for,” Liniger said. “That’s exactly what we’ve found with Port of Subs. The brand’s legacy, values and rock-solid business model provide a wealth of potential, and we’re thrilled to have found an established brand with so much growth on the horizon.”
Port of Subs, which bills itself as “your neighborhood sandwich shop,” was opened in Sparks, Nev., in 1972.
John Larsen and his family bought the company in 1975.
“Over the years, our franchisees have become truly celebrated in each community we serve because of our high-quality and customizable menu, and with that, we’ve been able to capture an amazing following,” said Larsen, the now former CEO of Port of Subs. “It’s impressive to see those efforts recognized by someone with such a strong legacy of entrepreneurship like Dave Liniger.”
With the acquisition, Port of Subs has named Adam Contos, Re/Max Holdings’ most recent CEO, as its chief executive, to succeed Larsen. Contos has been with Area 15 Ventures since early 2022 and is a director with the International Franchise Association.
Additionally, Port of Sub’s former executive vice president, Healey Mendicino, will now serve as the president of the brand.
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