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Inspire to acquire Jimmy John’s

Company adds to restaurant concepts which include Arby’s, Sonic and Buffalo Wild Wings

Multi-concept owner Inspire Brands announced today that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Jimmy John’s Sandwiches. The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Atlanta-based Inspire owns the Arby’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, Sonic Drive-In and Rusty Taco brands which total about 8,300 locations worldwide. Jimmy John’s has more than 2,800 locations across 43 states. 

“Jimmy John’s has found the ideal home at Inspire,” said the sandwich chain’s founder and chairman, Jimmy John Liautaud in a statement. “Inspire’s long-term approach, culture of innovation and commitment to helping brands grow sets it apart from the rest. I couldn’t be prouder of the company we’ve built, and I can’t wait to see what Jimmy John’s is able to accomplish under Inspire’s leadership.”

As part of the agreement, Liautaud will step down chairman and transition to an advisor to the brand. James North will continue to serve as president of Jimmy John’s.

“Jimmy John’s is a great fit for the Inspire family,” said Paul Brown, co-founder and CEO of Inspire Brands. “What started in 1983 as a sandwich shop in a converted garage in Charleston, Illinois, has grown into a national, differentiated brand with a passionate fanbase. We are excited to welcome the Jimmy John’s brand to Inspire and look forward to working with their team and franchisees to help the company achieve its next stage of growth.”

Inspire, which is owned by Roark, was created in 2018 after Arby’s Restaurant Group Inc. completed a $2.9 billion acquisition of Buffalo Wild Wings Inc. and renamed itself. 

According to the NRN Top 200 ranking, Jimmy John’s had about $2.14 billion in systemwide sales for the last fiscal year. It is the third largest sandwhich chain in terms of systemwide sales.

Contact Gloria Dawson at [email protected]

Follow her on Twitter: @GloriaDawson

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