Subway's two founding families could see billions of dollars come their way if a sale of the foot-long sandwich chain occurs.
The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that the fast food chain hired advisors to explore a possible sale. People familiar with the matter told the Journal the transaction could be worth over $10 billion.
Subway was founded by the late Fred DeLuca and Dr. Peter Buck. For over 50 years, the DeLuca and Buck families have had ownership of the Connecticut-based brand.
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A spokesperson for Subway told FOX Business on Thursday the privately-held company doesn't "comment on ownership structure and business plans."
"We continue to be focused on moving the brand forward with our transformational journey to help our franchisees be successful and profitable," the spokesperson said.
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Subway's beginnings date back to 1965, when Buck lent DeLuca $1,000 in startup funds to help create what would eventually turn into a restaurant chain that has more than 37,000 locations in over 100 countries, along with a network of franchisees totaling over 20,000, according to a recent press release.
Buck and DeLuca pivoted to a franchising model roughly nine years later, after having opened 16 shops in Connecticut, the company explains on its website.
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DeLuca was in charge of Subway for dozens of years, with sister Suzanne Greco becoming CEO in 2015, the year he passed away. Forbes estimated his net worth to be $2.5 billion that year.
Greco exited the position in 2018 to retire. The company later had John Chidsey, who formerly helmed Burger King, take on the chief executive role at Subway that he continues to hold in the present day.
In November 2021, Subway announced the death of 90-year-old Buck. The nuclear physicist's net worth was an estimated $1.7 billion, according to Forbes.
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The privately-held company reported in October that in comparison to the same three-month time frame the prior year, it saw an over 8% jump in same-store sales during its third quarter.
Recent moves by the company include testing an "interactive, fully unattended" sandwich vending machine at the University of California, San Diego in September 2022 and rolling out its "Subway Series" menu featuring 12 new options in July 2022.
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Ken Martin contributed to this report.