Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins owner Dunkin’ Brands confirmed yesterday that it is in “preliminary discussions” to be acquired by Inspire Brands, owner of restaurant chains like Sonic, Buffalo Wild Wings, Arbys and Jimmy Johns. The deal would once again make Dunkin’ a private company at a nearly $9 billion valuation.
Inspire has spent the last several years bringing major food brands into its fold, all of which span the majority of the continental United States, with one notable gap: New England and the northeastern states. By bringing Dunkin’ into its portfolio, Inspire is solidifying its hold on the continental United States.
Below, we’ve provided a map of all of Inspire’s store locations as well as Dunkin’s.
While most of Inspire’s brands are concentrated in the Midwest or Southeast United States (with the possible exception of Buffalo Wild Wings), Inspire’s most widespread brand is Arbys, which has locations spread across the country. Dunkin, while overlapping to some extent with brands like Arbys and Sonic along the east coast, would significantly fill out Inspire’s presence in the region and in New England, extending up from northern Virginia to Maine where the majority of Dunkin’s locations are.
The acquisition would also bring Inspire into the ongoing coffee wars in the United States, where Starbucks and Dunkin’ have been competing for ground as local coffee shops close across the country and as the two major coffee brands move towards contactless and digital service.
While Starbucks has a national (and global) presence which Dunkin’, based primarily in the Midwest and on the East Coast, lacks, Inspire’s infrastructure and network of nation-wide restaurants could allow the brand to expand across the rest of the country to meaningfully compete with Starbucks.
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