Sonic sold to Arby’s par­ent com­pany for $2.3B

Chattanooga Times Free Press - - BUSINESS - STAFF AND WIRE RE­PORT

Share­hold­ers have ap­proved the sale of drive-in burger chain Sonic to the par­ent com­pany of Arby’s in a $2.3 bil­lion merger.

Sonic share­hold­ers rat­i­fied the pend­ing agree­ment with In­spire Brands Inc. by ap­prov­ing plans to com­bine the com­pa­nies and com­pen­sate Sonic’s ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cers in con­nec­tion with the deal. Fol­low­ing the merger, Sonic will no longer be traded pub­licly.

Cliff Hud­son, cur­rent Sonic Chair­man and CEO, said that get­ting ap­proached for the deal was unan­tic­i­pated but he was proud of build­ing a prof­itable com­pany.

When Hud­son be­came CEO in 1995, the Ok­la­homa-based com­pany had 1,400 drive-ins and $880 mil­lion in sys­tem-wide sales. He’s now de­part­ing the busi­ness with 3,600 drive-ins and $4.5 bil­lion in sales.

Sonic op­er­ates 17 of its drive-in restau­rants in the Chattanooga area.

Hud­son said the new tech­nol­ogy — in­clud­ing Sonic de­sign­ing its own app to work with the drive-in stalls — was at­trac­tive to In­spire.

“This is a great place,” he said. “It will con­tinue to be a great place to work and to have a work life.”

He in­tends to serve as a se­nior con­sul­tant un­til March 2019 while the busi­ness shifts into new own­er­ship.

In­spire also com­pleted a deal to pur­chase Buf­falo Wild Wings ear­lier this year.

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