Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ: SONC) and Arby’s parent, Inspire Brands, Inc. today announced that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement under which Inspire will acquire Sonic for $43.50 per share in cash in a transaction valued at approximately $2.3 billion.
“Sonic is a highly differentiated brand and is an ideal fit for the Inspire family,” said Paul Brown, Chief Executive Officer of Inspire Brands. “We have tremendous respect for Sonic’s exceptional team of employees and franchise owners, who have built one of the industry’s most distinctive restaurant brands.”
The acquisition is part of Inspire’s overarching strategy to broaden its holdings so that its portfolio contains everything from fast food to casual dining. The company’s holdings include Buffalo Wild Wings, Rusty Taco and Arby’s.
The agreement, which has been unanimously approved by Sonic’s Board of Directors, represents a premium of approximately 19% per share to Sonic’s closing stock price on September 24, 2018 and a premium of approximately 21% to Sonic’s 30-day volume-weighted average price.
“This value-maximizing transaction validates the actions we have taken over the last year to grow traffic and improve sales while delivering differentiated offerings and superior guest service,” said Cliff Hudson, Sonic Corp. CEO.
Sonic will be a privately-held subsidiary of Inspire and will continue to be operated as an independent brand.
The deal is subject to Sonic shareholder and regulatory authority approvals and is expected to close by the end of 2018.