Arby's owner beefs up portfolio, eating up another fast-food franchise

Inspire Brands is now the fourth-largest restaurant chain in the United States after acquiring Jimmy John’s Sandwiches on Wednesday.

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The $14 billion deal elevates Inspire and its diverse portfolio of restaurants and chains, with the addition of Jimmy John’s potentially delivering a big boost to their portfolio.

Jimmy John’s boasts 2,800 locations in 43 states, adding to a portfolio of 11,200 restaurants globally currently owned by Inspire. Notable brands already under the Inspire umbrella include Sonic, Arby's and Buffalo Wild Wings.

The purchase of Jimmy John’s adds to the already impressive reach of Inspire, which is very quietly building a food brand that is touching upon several levels of the restaurant industry including fast food and dine-in options. Jimmy John’s is known for its sandwiches as well as its delivery service which is kept in-house and does not utilize a third party.

Aaron Allen, the founder of Aaron Allen & Associates, a leading consulting firm in the restaurant industry, said that this move works well with Inspire's recent acquisitions and also gives the brand more of a chance to expand internationally.

"It continues to add to their acquisition strategy, which they've been successfully executing," Aaron Allen told FOX Business. "It's a big buy, it's a big win. It's kind of big game trophy hunting, and they pulled down a large trophy in this one."

Founded in 1983 by Jimmy John Liautaud, the Illinois-based restaurant chain boasted 2,748 franchises throughout the country as of last year. The deal is expected to be completed in October.

"This is the big getting bigger in a level that is pretty unprecedented in modern food service," Allen said.

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