Arby’s Completes $2.9 Billion Acquisition of Buffalo Wild Wings, Launches New Company

by Katie Lee

Atlanta — Arby’s Restaurant Group Inc. has completed its previously announced $2.9 billion acquisition of Buffalo Wild Wings Inc. As part of the transaction, the company launched a new restaurant company known as Inspire Brands Inc. The company will oversee the growth of Arby’s, Buffalo Wild Wings and an emerging brand, R Taco.

More than 4,600 company-owned and franchised restaurants across 15 countries are within Inspire’s portfolio. The combined global sales of its restaurants in 2017 exceeded $7.6 billion.

“We believe the time is right to create a different kind of restaurant company — one with a broad portfolio of distinct brands across a full spectrum of restaurant occasions,” says Paul Brown, CEO of Inspire Brands. “Our goal is to build an organization that leverages the benefits of scale, not only to save cost, but also to enable outsized investments in long term growth initiatives.”

Inspire is designed to enable each individual brand to benefit from and build off the strengths of the others.

Brown of Arby’s and Neal Aronson of Roark Capital Group, a private equity firm, co-founded Inspire. The company’s headquarters will be based in Atlanta with a support center in Minneapolis.

Founded in 1964, Atlanta-based Arby’s is a sandwich restaurant brand. Buffalo Wild Wings, headquartered in Minneapolis, is known for its buffalo chicken wings and sports bar atmosphere. R Taco is a fast-casual taco concept serving street-style tacos.

Roark Capital Group is the investment company behind a wide variety of brands across many industries. Its foodservice investments include Focus Brands, which oversees Auntie Anne’s, Carvel, Cinnabon, McAlister’s Deli, Moe’s Southwest Grill and Schlotzsky’s. Other major foodservice brands under the Roark umbrella include Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s and Jimmy John’s Sandwiches.

— Kristin Hiller

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