- Port of Subs, a Nevada-based sandwich QSR chain, has been acquired by Area 15 Ventures, a private equity firm headed by Dave Liniger, a cofounder of Re/Max, according to a press release emailed to Restaurant Dive.
- Area 15 has aggressive expansion plans for the 130-unit restaurant brand, aiming to sign up to 50 regional development agreements in the next year.
- Liniger only acquires brands with global growth potential, Liniger said in a statement, indicating that he plans to grow Port of Subs beyond the seven states in the American West where it currently operates.
Port of Subs’ future growth will rely on regional development agreements.
“Port of Subs will be rapidly expanding using a regional developer model. Over 40 key markets have been identified, and existing markets will be strengthened with individual and multi-unit franchise locations. The company anticipates awarding up to 50 regions for development over the next twelve months,” the company wrote in a press release.
“When seeking out new concepts to add to our roster, we do our due diligence in confirming the brand has the potential to grow on a global scale, thrive in today’s competitive QSR market and above all, has the highest quality product,” Lingier said in the press release.
While the rate of major restaurant mergers has been down the last year or so, middle-level brands are still seeing plenty of M&A activity, with multi-brand platforms especially keen on snapping up companies. Area 15, which owns a considerable share of Daddy’s Chicken Shack, seems intent on building out a multi-brand system through the acquisition of Port of Subs.
Area 15 seems to be serious about rapid expansion. According to a job posting for a franchise sales team member on the company’s website, the franchisor has a “goal to grow franchise sales over 140% in 18 months.”
The acquisition accompanies a shakeup in Port of Subs’ C-Suite: Adam Contos, former CEO of Re/Max Holdings, will join the chain as CEO, replacing John Larsen. EVP Healey Mendocino will serve as president of the brand.
The companies did not disclose the sale price for the brand.