Dunkin' Brands, the Massachusetts-based company that owns Dunkin' and Baskin-Robbins, confirmed Sunday that it's been in talks about a sale with a private company.
Dunkin' confirmed the talks with Inspire Brands, though it insisted that they're just preliminary, in a statement to NBC10 Boston following a report about the discussions in The New York Times. That report said the deal would be valued at $8.8 billion, though a Dunkin' representative didn't confirm that.
“Dunkin’ Brands confirms that it has held preliminary discussions to be acquired by Inspire Brands. There is no certainty that any agreement will be reached. Neither group will comment further unless and until a transaction is agreed,” Dunkin' Brands Chief Communications Officer Karen Raskopf said in a statement.
Inspire Brands is already in the food businesses -- it owns the chains Arby’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, Sonic, Rusty Taco and Jimmy John’s.
Dunkin' is currently a public company with a market capitalization of $7.31 billion on a stock price of just under $89 as of the end of trading Friday.
The New York Times report, which cited two sources with knowledge of the sale negotiations, said the prospective deal would value the stock at $106.50 and could be announced as soon as Monday.
Dunkin' was founded in Quincy as Dunkin' Donuts in 1950 and now has nearly 13,000 franchises, according to the company. It's based in Canton.