Goldman Sachs is among the suitors hoping to buy Subway for an estimated $10 billion: Report

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The late co-founders of Subway, Fred DeLuca and Peter Buck, had little inkling decades ago their sandwich shop in Bridgeport, Conn., would grow into one of the world’s largest restaurant chains—or that the likes of Goldman Sachs would try to buy it for $10 billion.

But that, apparently is what’s happening. According to a Sky News report published Saturday, the asset management arm of Goldman Sachs is among the suitors of the sandwich chain, which has been put up for sale with an estimated $10 billion price tag. 

As Fortune reported in January, the heirs of DeLuca and Buck would join the ranks of America’s wealthiest if such a sale goes through. The Wall Street Journal initially reported on the company hiring advisors to explore a sale.

Subway confirmed it was exploring a possible sale in mid-February. It stated: “There is no indication of timing or assurance that a sale will occur. J.P. Morgan is advising the company and will conduct the sale exploration process. The company does not intend to make any further public comment regarding the process until it has been completed.”

Sky News, citing people close the process, said Goldman Sachs is among at least a handful of suitors, with others including Bain Capital, TDR Capital, TPG, and TSG Consumer Partners. 

Goldman Sachs declined to comment on the matter to Fortune. Subway did not immediately reply to request for comment.

In 1965 a teenaged DeLuca asked Buck, a family friend and nuclear physicist, for advice on funding his college education, according to Insider. That led to Buck lending him $1,000 to start a sandwich shop—a move that eventually made both men billionaires. 

DeLuca ran the company for decades as it rapidly expanded in the U.S. and internationally. Buck became a largely silent co-owner after the company switched to a franchise model in 1973.

From its humble beginnings as Pete’s Super Submarines shop—which did indeed pay for DeLuca’s University of Bridgeport education—the company went on to dwarf McDonald’s and every other restaurant chain by number of U.S. outlets. Its roughly 21,000 domestic locations registered $9.4 billion in sales in 2021, up 13% from 2020, and worldwide it had about 37,000 stores, according to the Journal

In 2019, Subway brought in an outsider to lead it, picking former Burger King CEO John Chidsey. But all along, it’s remained a private business with two families behind the scenes. 

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