Dunkin' shares soar on $8.8 bln acquisition deal

Shares of the owner of Dunkin Donuts jumped more than 6% to a record high Monday on news it’s being taken private in one of the largest restaurant deals of all time.

Inspire Brands, which owns Arby’s, Buffalo Wild Wings and other restaurant chains, said late Friday it’s buying Dunkin’ Brands Group for $8.8 billion in cash. The deal adds up to $11.3 billion if debt is included.

Inspire Brands is paying a nearly 20% premium for Dunkin’ which also owns the Baskin-Robbins ice cream chain. The company, which runs more than 11,000 restaurants, will continue to run Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins as distinct brands.

The acquisition announcement comes just as Dunkin’ rebounds from its lockdown lows. Last week, it reported rising quarterly revenue and earnings that surpassed analysts’ targets. Strong demand for its curbside pickup, drive-thru and delivery options boosted its results.

Investors have sweetened to Dunkin’ shares of late. With Monday’s rally, shares are up over 40% so far this year.