Roark Capital, which owns restaurants Arby's and Buffalo Wild Wings, is nearing a deal to buy sandwich chain Subway for about $9.6 billion (€8.8 billion), the Wall Street Journal has reported.
A deal could be finalised this week, the report said, citing people familiar with the matter.
'Subway does not intend to make any further public comment regarding the process until the transaction has been completed,' the company told Reuters in an emailed statement.
Reuters reported earlier this month that private equity firms TDR Capital and Sycamore Partners were in talks to team up in their pursuit to acquire Subway, which in February said it was exploring a possible sale of its business.
Sources told Reuters then that Subway was targeting well over $9 billion (€8.24 billion) in a deal, and remains uncertain whether TDR and Sycamore can meet its price expectations. Another group led by Roark Capital was in the running, the sources had added.
Private equity firm Roark primarily invests in the franchised consumer and business services sectors. It has invested in Inspire Brands, which is the owner of Arby's, Baskin-Robbins, Buffalo Wild Wings and Dunkin' among others.
Subway, which has about 37,000 restaurants running in over 100 countries, was founded in 1965 by 17-year-old Fred DeLuca and family friend Peter Buck.
The company has been owned by the founding families since its first outlet opened as 'Pete's Super Submarines' in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
For the first half of 2023, Subway saw a 9.3% increase in same-store sales in North America, as its moves to revamp its menus, remodel its restaurants and improve marketing efforts helped draw more customers even in the face of stiff competition.
Roark Capital did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.