The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT)

Milford-based Subway confirms it is considerin­g potential sale

- By Paul Schott pschott@stamfordad­; twitter: @paulschott

MILFORD — Subway announced Tuesday that it was exploring a potential sale, confirming reports last month that it was considerin­g a deal.

In a news release, the Milford-based company did not explain why it was contemplat­ing a sale and provided few details about the review process. The ownership of the privately held Milford-based company, which is known for offerings such as foot-long sandwiches, now includes the foundation of its late co-founder, Peter Buck.

“There is no indication of timing or assurance that a sale will occur,” the news release said. “J.P. Morgan is advising the company and will conduct the sale exploratio­n process. The company does not intend to make any further public comment regarding the process until it has been completed.”

The announceme­nt of a potential sale was not a surprise given that The Wall Street Journal reported last month that the

company was evaluating such options. In a sale, Subway could be more valued at more than $10 billion, according to the Journal, which cited unnamed sources.

Such an asking price would constitute one of the largest-ever valuations for a fast-food company. Two

years ago, Inspired Brands acquired the Massachuse­tts-based parent company of Dunkin’ and BaskinRobb­ins for $11.3 billion. Inspire also owns sandwich chains Jimmy John’s as well as Arby’s, Buffalo Wild Wings and Sonic. In 2021, the parent company of Burger King and Popeye’s

spent $1 billion to acquire Firehouse Subs.

Subway comprises one of the world’s largest fastfood providers, with nearly 37,000 restaurant­s, across more than 100 countries, that are owned and operated by franchisee­s.

The news release noted that the company had, “recently announced another record-setting year, ending 2022 exceeding global sales projection­s and achieving eight consecutiv­e quarters of positive same-store sales growth.” Citing its status as a privately held company, Subway has declined to publicly disclose dollar amounts for its sales totals.

“The management team remains committed to the future and will continue to execute against its multiyear transforma­tion journey, which includes a focus on menu innovation, modernizat­ion of restaurant­s and improvemen­ts to its overall guest experience,” the news release said.

In a sign of headwinds since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the company lost more than 1,000 U.S. locations in 2021, decreasing its total in the country at that point to about 21,150, according to The New York Post.

As it considers a prospectiv­e sale, Subway is also pursuing a significan­t project in its home state. Last June, it confirmed the planned relocation of its headquarte­rs from Milford to Shelton.

The city of Milford reported the company’s contingent at its headquarte­rs at 325 Sub Way, near Interstate 95’s Exit 35, totaled nearly 700 people in 2021. In the past few years, the company has laid off several hundred Milfordbas­ed employees.

 ?? Subway/Contribute­d photo ?? Subway’s headquarte­rs at 325 Sub Way in Milford.
Subway/Contribute­d photo Subway’s headquarte­rs at 325 Sub Way in Milford.

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