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Jimmy John’s sandwich chain sells majority stake to equity firm

Jimmy Liautaud, shown in 2003, will remain chairman at Jimmy John's Sandwiches after selling a majority stake to a private equity firm. | Submitted photo

NEW YORK — Champaign-based sandwich chain Jimmy John’s Sandwiches says it sold a majority stake in the company to private equity firm Roark Capital Group.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Roark Capital of Atlanta has invested in several fast food companies before, including pretzel seller Auntie Anne’s and sandwich restaurant chain Arby’s.

Founded in 1983, Jimmy John’s has more than 2,500 Jimmy John’s locations across the country and plans to open 1,100 more in the next few years. As a comparison, rival sandwich chain Subway has more than 44,000 shops.

Jimmy John’s says founder Jimmy John Liautaud will remain as chairman of the company’s board. James North will remain as president and CEO of the privately-held company.