CHAMPAIGN, ILL. — Roark Capital Group, an Atlanta-based private equity firm focused on franchise and consumer brands, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire a majority interest in Jimmy John’s Sandwiches. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Jimmy John’s has more than 2,500 locations and $2 billion in system-wide sales, the company said. The fast-casual restaurant has opened more than 200 locations in each of the last five years and plans to open more than 1,100 over the next several years.
Jimmy John Liautaud, founder of Jimmy John’s, will continue as the chairman of the board of directors and will remain the single largest individual shareholder. James North, president and chief executive officer, will continue to lead the day-to-day operations of the business.
|Neal Aronson, managing partner of Roark|
“Jimmy has built an amazing business with unlimited potential,” said Neal Aronson, managing partner of Roark. “It’s a testament to his vision, commitment to quality and the team’s outstanding execution. We are thrilled to be a part of this iconic brand and look forward to supporting its continued growth.”Upon completion of the transaction, Roark will have acquired 56 franchise/multi-unit brands. It also is an investor in Arby's, Atkins Nutritionals, Corner Bakery and CKE Restaurants, owner of Carl's Jr. and Hardee's.