Naperville Business Law Attorney Discusses the Sale of a Popular Sandwich Chain

Jimmy John's, Naperville business law attorneyIn my practice as a business law attorney, I have helped many clients with the complex process of selling their companies. For many, the decision to sell is one of the most difficult choices of their professional lives. For others, building and selling a successful company at a profit was the goal from the very beginning.

Selling a business, however, is not a decision that only small business owners must make. Large, well-known businesses are sold to even bigger companies on a fairly regular basis. The most recent example of this is the pending sale of a popular, Illinois-based sandwich chain—a deal that was just announced this week.

Inspire Brands to Acquire Jimmy John’s

Best known for cold-cut deli sandwiches, fast delivery, and irreverent, yet family-friendly décor, Jimmy John’s Sandwiches was founded in Charleston, Illinois, more than three decades ago. Now based in Champaign, the sandwich chain boasts more than 2,800 locations throughout the United States. Approximately 98 percent of Jimmy John’s locations are franchised.

This week, however, the company announced that it was being acquired by Inspire Brands—the parent company of Arby’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, and Sonic Drive-In. The financial terms of the sale were not released, but industry reports indicate that Jimmy John’s brought in $2.15 billion in sales last year.

According to the announcement, Jimmy John’s president James North will stay on as president of the brand at Inspire. Jimmy John himself—Jimmy John Liautaud—the company’s founder, will step down as chairman to become a brand adviser. “This is a win win win for all the parties involved,” Liautaud said in an email.

Time for a Change

Industry experts suggest that the timing of the sale coincides with a rise in competition for lunch customers in the fast-casual sector. Direct competitors such as Firehouse Subs, Jersey Mike’s Subs, and Potbelly have experienced strong growth in recent years, and the backing of Inspire could be important for Jimmy John’s future success.

“Inspire actually has a really good reputation a brand steward,” said Bob Goldin of Pentallect, a Chicago-based food-industry consultant group. “They seem to buy companies, they don’t mess them up, and they sometimes make them better.”

The transaction is expected to close sometime in October.

Sell Your Business With Help From a DuPage County Business Lawyer

If you are thinking about selling your business, a skilled Naperville business law attorney can assist you in putting all of the pieces together. Our team has decades of experience with facilitating business sales, and we can help you get the most out of your investment. Call The Gierach Law Firm at 630-756-1160 to schedule a confidential consultation with a member of our team today.



Chicago Tribune

Crain’s Chicago Business