Skip to Content

Here’s Why the Parent Company of Arby’s Is Buying Sonic

The parent company of a fast food chain that goes out of its way to include hamburgers on the menu has bought the nation’s fourth largest burger joint.

Inspire Brands, which owns Arby’s and Buffalo Wild Wings, has bought Sonic in a $2.3 billion deal.

The cash deal, which will pay $43.50 for shares of Sonic, will see Sonic become a private company. Sonic boasted $4.4 billion in sales last year, according to Nation’s Restaurant News, besting companies like Dairy Queen, Hardee’s, and Five Guys. That figure is still less than half of Wendy’s sales, though, and just 11% of McDonald’s total sales.

For Inspire Brands, the deal checks another box in the company’s diversification strategy. Arby’s is the go-to burger- and chicken-alternative fast food choice for millions of people. Buffalo Wild Wings, which Inspire acquired last year for $2.4 billion, gives it a fast-casual presence that can also draw in sports fans. And Rusty Taco, another holding, lets it compete on a limited basis in the Mexican food space.

“Sonic is a highly differentiated brand and is an ideal fit for the Inspire family,” said Paul Brown, CEO of Inspire Brands, in a statement. “We have tremendous respect for Sonic’s exceptional team of employees and franchise owners, who have built one of the industry’s most distinctive restaurant brands.”