Restaurant chain Inspire Brands to acquire Sonic Corp. in a US$2.3b transaction

USA – Sonic Corp., an American drive-in fast-food restaurant chain and Inspire Brands, Inc., a multi-brand restaurant company, have entered into a definitive merger agreement where Inspire will acquire Sonic in a US$2.3 billion deal.

According to the company, the transaction includes a US$43.50 per share in cash in a transaction valued at approximately US$2.3 billion including the assumption of Sonic’s net debt.

The agreement, which has been unanimously approved by Sonic’s Board of Directors, represents a premium of approximately 19% per share to Sonic’s closing stock price on September 24, 2018 and a premium of approximately 21% to Sonic’s 30-day volume-weighted average price.

“Sonic is a highly differentiated brand and is an ideal fit for the Inspire family,” said Paul Brown, Chief Executive Officer of Inspire Brands.

“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.”

“We’re excited to build on Sonic’s momentum as we leverage our combined expertise and capabilities to better serve guests, further support team members and franchisees and drive long-term growth.”

“This value-maximizing transaction validates the actions we have taken over the last year to grow traffic and improve sales while delivering differentiated offerings and superior guest service,” said Cliff Hudson, Sonic Corp. CEO.

“Our Board of Directors, taking into account the views of shareholders, conducted a comprehensive review of a wide range of strategic options to maximize shareholder value.

This transaction delivers significant, immediate and certain value to Sonic shareholders, and the private ownership structure will provide important benefits to our guests, franchisees and employees.”

The transaction is subject to the approval of Sonic shareholders and the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including applicable regulatory approvals, and is expected to close by the end of the year.

“As one of the largest owner-operators of company-owned and franchised restaurant brands, Inspire appreciates the unique culture of collaboration between Sonic and our franchisees.

Sonic franchisees are engaged in planning regarding technology, new products and marketing programs, and the team at Inspire recognizes the central role our franchisees have played, and will continue to play, in Sonic’s success.

We look forward to working closely with Inspire as we continue to provide made-to-order American classics, distinctive flavors and the most personalized guest experience in our industry,” added Cliff.

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