Subway has more than 37,000 locations around the world.
Subway could soon be on the selling block.
The 58-year-old sandwich giant confirmed Tuesday that it is exploring a possible sale of the company.Subway said that J.P. Morgan is advising the company and will conduct the sale exploration process.
In a statement, Subway noted “there is no indication of timing or assurance that a sale will occur.” However, if a sale were to occur, it would be one of the biggest deals in the fast food industry since Inspire Brandsacquired Dunkin’ Brands in October 2020. In January, the Wall Street Journal reported that Subway was seeking a deal that could value the company at more than $10 billion.
One of the worlds’ largest quick service restaurant brands, Subway is based in Milford, Conn., and has more than 37,000 restaurants (with about 21,000 located in the United States) across more than 100 countries. The restaurants are owned and operated by Subway franchisees.
“The management team remains committed to the future and will continue to execute against its multi-year transformation journey, which includes a focus on menu innovation, modernization of restaurants and improvements to its overall guest experience,” Subway said in a statement.
Subway has been on a rebound in recent years after undergoing a serious slump. It has updated its menu and restaurants while also putting an increased emphasis on digital growth. It plans to remodel 3,600 locations across North America this year.
The privately held company in February said it exceeded sales projections in 2022, achieving eight consecutive quarters of positive same-store sales growth, with a 9.2% jump in 2022 compared to 2021. Digital sales have more than tripled since 2019.
“As part of our journey to transform the brand, we are improving across every aspect of our business and, after two years of record sales results, we can confidently say that Subway is getting its swagger back," John Chidsey, CEO of Subway, stated in February. "Across every region, the team's efforts have set the stage for another year of strategic and profitable growth and exciting enhancements to our guest experience."
Subway was founded in 1965 when 17-year-old Fred DeLuca asked his family friend, Dr. Peter Buck, a nuclear physicist, for advice on how to pay his college tuition. With an idea to open a submarine sandwich shop and an initial $1,000 investment from Buck, the two formed a business partnership and opened their first restaurant, in Bridgeport, Conn.
In January, it was revealed that Buck, who died in November 2021, left his 50% ownership of Subway to the Peter and Carmen Lucia Buck Foundation. The foundation was formed by Buck and his wife, the late Carmen Lucia Buck, as a private family foundation to manage their family's philanthropic initiative.