According to a Wednesday report from Bloomberg, Inspire Brands-backer Roark Capital has held preliminary discussions with potential advisers to take the multi-concept giant public. An initial public offering would arrive in late 2024 or 2025, depending on market conditions, sources told the publication, with Inspire commanding a value of roughly $20 billion.

Deliberations for the owner of Dunkin’, Sonic Drive-In, Buffalo Wild Wings, Arby’s, Baskin-Robbins, and Jimmy John’s, are ongoing, Bloomberg said. No final decisions have been made, whether to pursue an IPO, or the size and timing. Roark owns privately held Focus Brands as well and has a stake in The Cheesecake Factory. It added Subway last year in a $9.6 billion move.

“We remain focused on growing our business and creating long-term value for all stakeholders,” a spokesperson from Inspire Brands told QSR. “We have no comment on potential future changes to our capital structure.”

If the report comes to fruition, Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins would head back to the stock market—they were publicly held by “Dunkin’ Brands” before Inspire acquired the group in December 2020 for $11.3 billion.

Buffalo Wild Wings was public for more than a decade preceding Arby’s Restaurant Group’s closing of a $2.9 billion deal in February 2018 that formed Inspire Brands.


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The company then acquired Sonic in December 2019 for $2.3 billion, Jimmy John’s for an undisclosed amount in October 2020, and Dunkin’ Brands roughly a year after that.

Inspire in mid-November announced an organizational realignment that focused the business on three key segments—brands, commercial and company restaurants, and growth.  

As part of the first pillar, Scott Murphy—who previously served as head of beverage & snacking and Dunkin’s president—was named chief brand officer. The industry veteran now oversees all of Inspire’s chains. The company said at the time the restructure would maintain each brand’s distinctive positioning, but also facilitate better coordination among the concepts and the company’s overall shared services platform. All individual brand presidents report to Murphy.

Dan Lynn, chief commercial officer since August 2022, was also promoted to chief commercial and restaurant officer, a role that includes directly overseeing Inspire’s nearly 2,200-unit corporately owned footprint and communications.

Lynn’s responsibilities as chief commercial officer, such as leading demand generation, insights and analytics, brand loyalty, revenue management, and digital experience, remained intact. He reports directly to Inspire CEO Paul Brown.

The third segment, growth, falls under Christian Charnaux, who continues as chief growth officer. The international, development, and supply chain teams will continue to report to Charnaux.

With this leadership shift, Inspire said it hoped to take advantage of its “core strategic capabilities provided by Inspire’s data and technology-enabled platform.”

Inspire, at a recent count, totaled roughly 31,700 restaurants and $30 billion in system sales, making it the second-largest restaurant conglomerate in the U.S. behind Taco Bell, KFC, Pizza Hut, and Habit Burger owner Yum! Brands. All of its quick-service chains are listed in the QSR 50.

Fast Casual, Fast Food, Finance, Story, Inspire Brands