Subway Selling To PE Firm Roark Capital

By Amit Chowdhry • Aug 25, 2023

Subway recently announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by affiliates of Roark Capital. The deal is a major milestone in Subway’s multi-year transformation journey as it combines Subway’s global presence and brand strength with Roark’s deep expertise in restaurant and franchise business models.

Roark is a private equity firm with $37 billion in assets under management (AUM). And Roark focuses on investments in consumer and business service companies, specializing in franchise and franchise-like businesses, and prides itself on being a trusted partner for management and business owners.

The deal comes on the heels of Subway announcing its 10th consecutive quarter of positive same-store sales. The company will continue to execute its strategy with a focus on sales growth, menu innovation, modernization of restaurants, overall guest experience improvements, and international expansion.

As one of the world’s largest quick-service restaurant brands, Subway serves freshly made-to-order sandwiches, wraps, salads and bowls to millions of guests across more than 100 countries in nearly 37,000 restaurants daily. Subway restaurants are owned and operated by Subway franchisees, a network of thousands of dedicated entrepreneurs and small business owners committed to delivering the best guest experience possible in their local communities. Subway was founded in 1965 by Fred DeLuca and Peter Buck. The founding families owned the company since the first restaurant opened under “Pete’s Super Submarines” in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

The transaction details were undisclosed, but The Wall Street Journal reported that the final bid for the deal was $9.6 billion. Along with Subway, Roark also owns Buffalo Wild Wings, Dunkin’, Baskin Robbins, Sonic, Arby’s, Jimmy John’s, Auntie Anne’s, Carvel, Cinnabon, Jamba, McAlister’s, Moe’s Southwest Grill, and Schlotzky’s. And Roark is also an investor in Cheesecake Factory.


“This transaction reflects Subway’s long-term growth potential and the substantial value of our brand and our franchisees around the world. Subway has a bright future with Roark, and we are committed to continuing to focus on a win-win-win approach for our franchisees, our guests and our employees.”

— John Chidsey, CEO of Subway