ATLANTA – Arby’s Restaurant Group Inc. has completed its $2.9 billion acquisition of Buffalo Wild Wings Inc., a merger that will launch a new global, multi-brand restaurant company called Inspire Brands Inc.
Inspire was founded by Paul Brown, CEO of Arby’s, and Neal K. Aronson, founder and managing partner of Roark Capital Group, a majority owner of Inspire Brands. Inspire will oversee the Arby’s, Buffalo Wild Wings and R Taco brands “while building a platform for future strategic additions,” the company said. Brown will be CEO.
“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,” Brown said. “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 Brands operates more than 1,700 company-owned restaurants. Systemwide, Inspire includes more than 4,600 company-owned and franchised restaurants across 15 countries. The combined 2017 global system sales of its restaurants exceed $7.6 billion. The company headquarters will be in Atlanta, and it also will operate support center in Minneapolis.“I’m incredibly excited about the opportunity ahead,” Brown said. “Our family of brands are iconic within their restaurant segments and have succeeded with the help of a strong franchise base, differentiated marketing and, most importantly, delicious food. I’m looking forward to accelerating their growth under our new model.”