Atlanta-based Roark Capital buys Subway chain; price reportedly more than $9 billion

Atlanta-based Roark Capital, a massive private equity firm, has agreed to buy Subway, a global chain of franchised sandwich shops, according to a statement by Subway.

“The transaction is a major milestone in Subway’s multi-year transformation journey,” the company said in a statement that made no mention of a purchase price for the chain.

Published reports based on unnamed sources later put the sale price at up to $9.55 billion.

The purchase combines “Subway’s global presence and brand strength with Roark’s deep expertise in restaurant and franchise business models,” the company statement said.

“This transaction reflects Subway’s long-term growth potential,” said John Chidsey, chief executive of Subway. “Subway has a bright future with Roark.”

Roark is a private equity firm with $37 billion in assets under management. The company did not return a message from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Subway, which serves made-to-order sandwiches, wraps, salads and bowls, has nearly 37,000 restaurants in more than 100 countries. The restaurants are owned and operated by Subway franchisees.

The company says it has dual corporate offices in Florida and Connecticut, where it was founded in 1965.

Subway said it has reported 10 consecutive quarters of same store sales growth.

Earlier this month, Subway announced the impending departure of its president, Trevor Haynes, who said he was leaving at the end of the year. Haynes has been the company’s president for 18 years.

Douglas Fry, who is country director for Subway in Canada, will take the position. In a statement Aug. 16, the company described the changes as “transitions that continue to build on the brand’s strong momentum and drive its transformation journey.”