Illinois-Based Jimmy John's Being Sold To Arby's Owner

WBBM Newsradio Staff
September 25, 2019 - 8:16 pm

(WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Inspire Brands, the owner of Arby’s and other fast-food restaurant chains, announced plans Wednesday to add Jimmy John’s to its mix.

Jimmy John’s is the Champaign, Illinois-based sandwich shop chain founded by Jimmy John Liautaud. The first restaurant opened in 1983 in Charleston, Illinois; now, there are 2,800 locations in 43 states.

Atlanta-based Inspire’s portfolio includes more than 8,300 Arby’s, Buffalo Wild Wings and SONIC Drive-In locations. Following its acquisition of Jimmy John’s, Inspire is expected to be the fourth-largest restaurant company in the United States, officials said.

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Terms of the sale were not disclosed. The deal is expected to close in October.

“I couldn’t be prouder of the company we’ve built, and I can’t wait to see what Jimmy John’s is able to accomplish under Inspire’s leadership,” Liautaud, who is expected to remain as a brand advisor, said in a news release.

Pictures of Liautaud posing with dead big-game animals have surfaced on the Internet and caused controversy and calls for boycotts against Jimmy John’s. In a 2015 interview with the Chicago Tribune, Liautaud said he no longer hunts big game.