$2.4 Bil. Price Tag on Dunkin’

BOSTON A consortium of private equity firms said they would buy Dunkin’ Donuts parent Dunkin’ Brands from French conglomerate Pernod Ricard for $2.4 billion in cash.

Bain Capital Partners, the Carlyle Group and Thomas H. Lee Partners comprise the consortium. The deal is expected to close early next year.

Canton, Mass.-based Dunkin’ includes the flagship coffee and donut shop brand, as well as Baskin-Robbins ice cream and Togo’s sandwich shops. All told, the three chains have 12,000 locations worldwide, more than half of those Dunkin’ Donuts stores.

“This transaction provides for the future of Dunkin’ Brands, its franchisees, restaurant employees and customers,” said Dunkin’ Brands CEO Jon Luther, in a statement. “With our new owners ready to support us in our growth efforts, a strong management team on board and continued excellent franchisee relationships, Dunkin’ Brands is well positioned for global expansion.”

A Dunkin’ representative said no additional information was immediately available.

Dunkin’ Donuts spends about $75 million annually on ads, per Nielsen Monitior-Plus. Interpublic Group’s Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos in Boston serves as lead agency. The shop also works on the $5-10 million Togo’s account. Hill, Holliday and VitroRobertson in San Diego share the $10 million Baskin-Robbins business. The shops did not return calls.

Sources said no immediate changes in the ad budget or agency roster are expected.

Dunkin’ was put up for sale following the acquisition of Allied-Domecq by Pernod Ricard for more than $14 billion [Adweek Online, April 21].

—Adweek staff report