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After Months of Scrutiny, Roark Capital Finalizes $9.6 Billion Subway Acquisition The sale, initially announced in August 2023, was delayed by Federal Trade Commission scrutiny.

By Carl Stoffers Edited by Jessica Thomas

Key Takeaways

  • Roark Capital finalized its acquisition of Subway after a Federal Trade Commission review delayed it.
  • The sandwich giant's CEO expressed excitement about the completion of the sale.
  • Subway, once a dominant force in franchising, has faced challenges in recent years.

Roark Capital finalized its $9.6 billion Subway acquisition last week, following a sales process that started last August and was delayed by a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) review.

"The entire Subway system is excited that our sale to Roark is complete," John Chidsey, CEO of Subway, said in a statement. "As we look to our future, our growth journey is far from over. With a continued strategic focus on delivering better food and a better guest experience, our next chapter will be the most exciting yet."

Interested in learning more? Explore Subway franchise ownership today.

Related: Considering franchise ownership? Get started now to find your personalized list of franchises that match your lifestyle, interests and budget.

Roark concerns

The FTC opened an investigation into the sandwich giant's sale in November over concerns that Roark — which also owns Subway competitors Jimmy John's, McAlister's Deli, Arby's, Carls Jr., Hardee's and Schlotzky's — was becoming too dominant in the quick-service restaurant (QSR) space. Federal regulators approved the deal last week after those FTC concerns were rectified.

A Subway spokesperson told Entrepreneur that there are no anticipated changes to the company's leadership team with the acquisition and that "our brand will remain the Subway guests know and love."

Related: Find Out Which Brands Have Ranked on the Franchise 500 for Longest, Earning a Spot In our New 'Hall of Fame'

Franchise 500 comeback

Subway was once a juggernaut of franchise success, peaking at nearly 45,000 locations in 2016. But following the death of co-founder and president Fred DeLuca in 2015, Covid and the 2020s brought trouble. The chain has contracted about 10% over the past three years as franchisees struggled with higher costs and inflation, but the sandwich chain still boasts about 36,000 locations worldwide.

Once a mainstay in the Franchise 500 Top 10, Subway fell out of the rankings from 2021 to 2023. However, the brand returned to the 2024 ranking, coming in at number 199.

Carl Stoffers

Entrepreneur Staff

Senior Business Editor

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