Sandwich chain Subway said Thursday it will be sold to the private equity firm Roark Capital.
Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. Earlier this week, The Wall Street Journal reported that Roark was offering around $9.6 billion for Subway, which is privately owned.
Subway CEO John Chidsey said the deal reflects Subway’s long-term growth potential and the value of the brand. Subway plans to continue to modernize restaurants and expand internationally under Roark’s ownership.
Roark is a private equity firm with $37 billion in assets under management. It specializes in franchised businesses, and owns multiple restaurant chains, including Arby’s, Dunkin’ and Buffalo Wild Wings.
Subway, which has dual headquarters in Miami and Connecticut, was founded in 1965 and is still owned by its founding families. It’s now one of the world’s largest restaurant chains, with 37,000 outlets in more than 100 countries.
But in the U.S., it has been losing market share in recent years to fast-growing rivals like Panera and Firehouse Subs, which feature more varied menus and newer stores. Subway has been trying to catch up; in 2021 it refreshed its menu and last year it announced a line of chef-developed sandwiches.
But in February, Subway announced it was exploring a sale.