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Subway-more-bidders-potential-sale.jpg Ron Ruggless
The list of potential suitors for the Subway brand expands with reports of interest by Roark Capital Group and the Issa brothers.

Roark Capital Group, Issa brothers emerge among more possible Subway suitors

List of bidders eyeing a prospective purchase of privately held 37,000-unit restaurant franchisor grows

The reported number of companies looking at buying the Subway brand has expanded with sources this week mentioning Atlanta-based Roark Capital Group and the British-based owners of the Asda supermarket chain.

Milford, Conn.-based Subway in February confirmed that it was considering a potential sale of the privately owned sandwich chain.

Valuations of the possible deal have been as high as $10 billion. “Some suitors may value the business at as much as $8 billion,” one source told Bloomberg for Wednesday’s report on Roark’s interest.

Earlier, press reports said Goldman Sachs Asset Management and Bain Capital were interested in acquiring the chain. A report from United Kingdom-based Sky News said other potential suitors include TDR Capital and TPG. Advent International has also been mentioned.

Bloomberg said Roark Capital Group, which has backed such restaurant brands as Arby’s, Carl’s Jr., Carvel and Dunkin’, was among potential bidders for Subway, “according to people with knowledge of the matter.”

Earlier in the week, The Sun, based in Britain, said billionaire brothers Mohsin Issa and Zuber Issa, who own Asda, were considering a purchase of the Subway chain.

The Issa brothers’ EG Group owns a chain of gas stations and convenience stores in Europe, the United States and Australia, and some of those contain Subway units. In 2020, in a consortium with TDR Capital, the brothers became majority stakeholders in Asda, the British supermarket chain.

At this point, no decisions on a sale have emerged.

Roark Capital had not responded to questions by press time.

Subway has about 37,000 franchise-run locations in more than 100 countries. It said in February that it had retained JPMorgan Chase & Co. to work on the possible sale.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected]

Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless

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