Inspire Brands, the parent of Arby’s, Buffalo Wild Wings and Rusty Tacos, has agreed to buy Sonic Corp., in a deal valued at $2.3 billion. Wall Street analysts say Inspire will be paying roughly 20% more for Sonic than what shares were trading at on Monday. Sonic is an Oklahoma City-based chain founded in 1953.
The acquisition adds 3,600 Sonic drive-ins to the 4,700 combined units of Arby’s, Buffalo Wild Wings and Rusty Tacos, but Inspire will also assume Sonic’s debt. Under the terms of the deal, Sonic will become a privately held subsidiary of Inspire Brands and will continue to be operated as an independent brand. Inspire purchased Buffalo Wild Wings just last year for $3 billion.
Analysts say Sonic has been hit hard by competition from McDonald's, Burger King and Wendy's. Sonic's sales at locations open at least a year have been declining for the past few quarters.
Sonic’s board of directors unanimously approved the agreement. The transaction is subject to the approval of Sonic shareholders and applicable regulatory approvals, and is expected to close by the end of the year.