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Roark Capital’s $9.6 billion takeover of Metro is nearing completion

Roark Capital completed its $9.6 billion acquisition of Subway last week, following a sale process that began last August and was delayed by Federal Trade Commission (FTC) scrutiny.

“The entire Subway system is excited about the completion of our sale to Roark,” John Chidsey, Subway CEO, said in a statement. “Looking to the future, our development journey is not over yet. With our continued strategic focus on delivering better food and better guest experiences, our next chapter will be the most exciting yet.”

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Roark has doubts

The FTC opened an investigation into the sandwich giant’s sale in November amid concerns that Roark – which also owns Subway competitors Jimmy John’s, McAlister’s Deli, Arby’s, Carls Jr., Hardee’s and Schlotzky’s – was becoming too dominant in the quick-service restaurant industry ( QSR ) space. Federal regulators approved the deal last week after clearing FTC objections.

– said a Subway spokesman Entrepreneur that no changes in company leadership are expected in connection with the acquisition and that “our brand will remain known and loved by Subway guests.”

Related: Find out which brands have been on the 500 Franchises list the longest and earn a spot in our new “Hall of Fame”

The return of Franchise 500

Subway was once a source of franchise success, peaking at almost 45,000 locations in 2016. But after co-founder and CEO Fred DeLuca died in 2015, Covid and the 2020s brought trouble. The chain has shrunk by about 10% over the past three years as franchisees grapple with higher costs and inflation, but the sandwich chain still boasts about 36,000 locations worldwide.

Subway, once a mainstay in the top 10 of the Franchise 500, dropped out of the rankings from 2021 to 2023. However, the brand returned to the ranking in 2024, taking 199th place.