Franchised Restaurant Chain Valued at $10 Billion+ Potentially for Sale

Jan 17, 2023

The Wall Street Journal reported last week that the approximately 37,000 unit world wide fast food franchise, Subway, which exceeded $9 billion in revenue domestically in the United States in 2021 was exploring a potential sale of the privately held company in 2023 for a value that could exceed $10 billion ((  The sale of a privately held company in the hospitality space does not get much larger.  IBA, which has been successfully selling multiple unit restaurant chains, franchised and independent, since the 1970’s in the Pacific Northwest, has never done an eleven-figure deal. In all honesty, we have never done a deal above eight figures, so we were not interviewed as a professional mergers & acquisitions intermediary firm for this project.  We do not fault John Chidsey (, the present CEO of the company, for not interviewing IBA for the project.  In the world of business brokerage, we are a high achieving welterweight of the caliber of Manny Pacquiao, Erroll Spence, Jr. and Floyd Mayweather, Jr., with an unmatched record of achievement, 4200+ successfully completed transactions, at our level not possessing the strength & size to go toe to toe with the investment banks in the nation that would equate to Muhammad Ali, Tyson Fury, and Joe Louis and get into the ring to sell a project of this magnitude.

We wish whoever gets the engagement success and hope a “win-win” deal is completed which results in a fair value for the seller and an opportunity for the buyer to receive a return on investment commensurate with the risk associated with the acquisition.

As a result of not being selected to sell Subway, IBA’s Hospitality Transaction Division has the bandwidth to support entrepreneurs in the sale of their franchised & independent restaurant chains in 2023.  The following are six reasons to consider interviewing IBA as a potential broker for the sale of a chain of franchised restaurants:

  1. IBA has successfully sold a wide spectrum of franchised food service businesses in its nearly 50 year history including Arby’s, Tony Roma’s, Dairy Queen, Taco Del Mar, Big Apple Bagels, Menchie’s, and Wetzel’s Pretzels.
  2. Every business broker affiliated with IBA has a real estate license for the state or states they serve as an intermediary. This allows them to as part of a comprehensive representation package to sell the business and either also sell the real estate or facilitate lease or lease assignment negotiations legally in the state where the business is located.
  3. IBA is unique in that in addition to its full-service business brokerage and commercial real estate components, it also has a franchise brokerage division ( with approximately twenty years of experience working with franchisors and franchisees. Few business brokerage firms in the United States are better prepared to facilitate the assignment or new franchise agreements between parties than IBA.
  4. IBA has the ability, in house, to provide an accurate assessment of the market value of a single location or chain of restaurants. This professional opinion of market value is provided on a complimentary basis to potential clients as a method of allowing them to assess our knowledge, experience, and skill set without contractual obligation or cost.
  5. IBA’s Hospitality Transaction Division has been led for multiple years by Oliver Kotelnikov. Kotelnikov has successfully run a multiple location hospitality business as an owner, providing him with relevant field knowledge & experience not possessed by business brokers who have never owned or executively managed a food service business.  He is also an active participant in the industry volunteering his time and serving in many capacities in the Washington Hospitality Association (
  6. IBA’s Hospitality Transaction Division has an established set of resources to support our clients in the sale of their businesses from connections at the state level to assist with liquor license transfers to vice-president level professional colleagues in the banking industry interested in financing our food service industry transactions to accountants & attorneys knowledgeable in the nuances associated with selling a business with the ability to mitigate the tax burden due on sale and trailing legal liability.

If you are interested in selling a restaurant, franchised or independent, single location or chain in the Pacific Northwest the members of IBA’s Hospitality Industry Transaction Division would welcome the opportunity to learn about your business, exit strategy objectives, and provide an overview of our client services.  All conversations with IBA are held in strict confidence.

IBA, the Pacific Northwest’s premier business brokerage firm since 1975, is available as an information resource to the media, business brokerage, mergers & acquisitions, real estate, legal, and accounting communities on subjects relevant to the purchase & sale of privately held companies and family-owned businesses.  IBA is recognized as one of the best business brokerage firms in the nation based on its long track record of successfully negotiating “win-win” business sale transactions in environments of full disclosure employing “best practices”.