Updated Oct 31, 2020 - Economy & Business

Dunkin' Brands agrees to $11B Inspire Brands sale

dunkin donuts drive thru
Photo: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Dunkin' Brands, operator of both Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins, agreed on Friday to be taken private for nearly $11.3 billion, including debt, by Inspire Brands, a restaurant platform sponsored by private equity firm Roark Capital.

Why it matters: Buying Dunkin’ will more than double Inspire’s footprint, making it one of the biggest restaurant deals in the past 10 years. This could ultimately set up an IPO for Inspire, which already owns Arby's, Jimmy John's and Buffalo Wild Wings.

  • Dunkin' was private equity-owned before going public in 2011. Two of its former private equity partners, Mark Nunnelly of Bain Capital and Tony DiNovi of THL Partners, remain on its board as independent directors.

What they're saying: “Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins are category leaders with more than 70 years of rich heritage, and together they are two of the most iconic restaurant brands in the world,” co-founder and CEO of Inspire Brands, Paul Brown, said in a statement, per CNBC.

  • “By joining Inspire, these brands will add complementary guest experiences and occasions to our current portfolio.

The bottom line: "As stay-at-home orders have shifted working patterns, customers have been coming to its stores later in the day than they used to and spending more on newer and more expensive items like espresso and other specialty beverages. Dunkin’ already brings in more than half its revenue through drinks, and it dropped 'Donut' from its name last year as it seeks to shift its emphasis to coffee and take on Starbucks more directly," writes the New York Times.

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