Dunkin’ Donuts, which was founded in Quincy, Massachusetts 70 years ago, is one of the largest coffee and pastry chains in the world, with nearly 13,000 locations in 42 countries. The brand, which also owns ice cream icon Baskin-Robbins, is currently in the process of a rebranding as a “beverage-led company” under the joint name Dunkin’ and taking aim for competitor Starbucks.
But the company is about to undergo another major change, too. In one of the largest transactions in the history of the restaurant industry, Inspire Brands is buying Dunkin’ in an $11.3 billion deal announced on October 30, 2020.
The deal will add Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins to the Inspire Brands team of dining chains, putting them in company with chains like Buffalo Wild Wings, Jimmy Johns, Sonic Drive-In, and Arby’s.
“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,” said Inspire Brands Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Paul Brown. “By joining Inspire, these brands will add complementary guest experiences and occasions to our current portfolio.
The purchase will also take Dunkin’, which is currently publicly traded at over $105 a share, private as of the time of the deal.
The sale certainly isn’t due to strife on Dunkin’s end. The company’s shares are up 18 percent from this time last year, and 2020 has treated them relatively well. Buying Dunkin’ will more than double Inspire Brands’ footprint of stores and spread them into 28 more countries. The purchase does include assuming Dunkin’s debt, but that clearly wasn’t a deterrent.
Inspire has no intention of changing any more of Dunkin’s branding, nor Baskin-Robbins. They would like the companies to keep operating precisely as they have been, which is to say profitably and with great success.
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