Sonic Drive In is being sold. Tuesday morning the Oklahoma City based company announced the deal worth $2.3 billion.
Christi Woodworth, Vice President of Public Relations for Sonic, says the company will remain an independent brand and its headquarters will stay in Oklahoma City.
Sonic has been an Oklahoma based business for 65 years. Its corporate headquarters is located on the banks of the Bricktown canal.
“Oklahoma City is very proud to be the home of Sonic and I talked to the CEO this morning and the good news is we’re still going to be the home of Sonic for the foreseeable future,” said Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt.
The company announced it is being purchased by Inspire Brands, which owns Arby's, Buffalo Wild Wings, and Rusty Tacos based in Atlanta Georgia. It will become a privately held subsidiary. But Woodworth says the company will keep the same management team and employees and customers shouldn't notice a difference.
“When you think about Sonic it’s something we all have collective ownership of right?” said Russell Evans, economics professor at Oklahoma City University. “It’s such a part of your community, you feel like you’re a part of it.”
Evans says that news like this can cause a lot of anxiety that your cities economic, philanthropic and cultural fabric could change. He says all that will depend on if decision makers and employees keep the same attachment to the city.
“All the initial signs at least seem to be good. Sonic will continue to operate as an independent brand operated in Oklahoma City,” said Evans. “So, the question then is even if that is the case, do we lose a little bit of that attachment or does that attachment maintain?”
Evans also says the sale could allow for faster growth, and an increase in Sonic's footprint.
Shareholders still have to approve the deal. It’s expected to become final by the end of the year.