Inspire Brands to buy drive-in restaurant chain Sonic

26th September 2018 (Last Updated September 26th, 2018 12:16)

Multi-brand restaurant company Inspire Brands has signed a definitive merger agreement to purchase American fast-food chain Sonic Drive-In for approximately $2.3bn.

Inspire Brands to buy drive-in restaurant chain Sonic
Inspire Brands to buy Sonic for $2.3bn. Credit: Mike Mozart.

Multi-brand restaurant company Inspire Brands has signed a definitive merger agreement to purchase American fast-food chain Sonic Drive-In for approximately $2.3bn.

Under the terms of the agreement, the parent company of Arby’s and Buffalo Wild Wings will pay $43.50 per share in cash as well as assume Sonic’s net debt. Sonic’s board of directors have unanimously approved the agreement.

Sonic CEO Cliff Hudson said: “This value-maximising transaction validates the actions we have taken over the last year to grow traffic and improve sales while delivering differentiated offerings and superior guest service.

“Our board of directors, taking into account the views of shareholders, conducted a comprehensive review of a wide range of strategic options to maximise shareholder value.

“The team at Inspire recognises the central role our franchisees have played, and will continue to play, in Sonic’s success.”

“This transaction delivers significant, immediate and certain value to Sonic shareholders, and the private ownership structure will provide important benefits to our guests, franchisees and employees.”

The deal is subject to the approval of Sonic shareholders and the satisfaction of customary closing conditions including regulatory approvals. It will close by the end of 2018.

Hudson added: “As one of the largest owner-operators of company-owned and franchised restaurant brands, Inspire appreciates the unique culture of collaboration between Sonic and our franchisees.

“Sonic franchisees are engaged in planning regarding technology, new products and marketing programmes, and the team at Inspire recognises the central role our franchisees have played, and will continue to play, in Sonic’s success.”

Sonic currently operates more than 3,600 drive-in restaurants serving approximately 3 million customers every day.

Inspire Brands owns and operates more than 4,700 restaurants globally.