| USA TODAY
Pumpkin spice battle: Starbucks or Dunkin’?
Pumpkin spice is everywhere this fall. But which coffee chain has the best drinks?
Dunkin’, meet Arby’s and Buffalo Wild Wings.
The parent company of the chain formerly known as Dunkin Donuts and Baskin-Robbins is negotiating a deal to go private in a sale to the owner of several restaurant brands, including Arby’s, Buffalo Wild Wings and Sonic.
Private equity group Roark Capital’s Inspire Brands is in talks to acquire Dunkin’ Brands – a potential deal first reported Sunday by the New York Times.
“Dunkin’ Brands confirms that it has held preliminary discussions to be acquired by Inspire Brands,” the company said Sunday in a statement to USA TODAY. “There is no certainty that any agreement will be reached. Neither group will comment further unless and until a transaction is agreed.”
Dunkin’ Brands has more than 13,000 Dunkin’ locations and about 8,000 Baskin-Robbins.
Inspire Brands declined to comment.
“We do not comment on rumors around potential acquisition targets,” Inspire Brands spokespersoSelden Hunnicutt said in an email.
The talks come as the dining sector has been roiled by the coronavirus pandemic, which has shut down or limited indoor dining throughout the country. In general, fast-food chains like Dunkin’ and Arby’s have fared better than casual dining chains like Buffalo Wild Wings, which rely more on sitdown dining.
The chain formerly known as Dunkin’ Donuts shed the second word in its name in 2018 as it sought to rebrand itself with an expanded selection of drinks and foods. Earlier this year, Dunkin’ Brands announced plans to close about 450 locations inside Speedway gas stations.
Inspire Brands would pay $106.50 per share for Dunkin’ Brands, representing a premium of about 20% over Friday’s closing price, according to the Times. That would make the deal worth nearly $9 billion.
Follow USA TODAY reporter Nathan Bomey on Twitter @NathanBomey.