Two new bidding groups have emerged for coffee and snack chain operator Dunkin’ Brands, according to sources familiar with the auction, with final offers expected by the end of this week.
Private equity firms Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. has teamed up with Trimaran Capital Partners for a bid, sources said, with Providence Equity Partners and J.P. Morgan Partners also joining together for an offer.
French beverage company Pernod is selling Dunkin’ Brands, which includes coffee and doughnut chain Dunkin’ Donuts, the Baskin Robbins ice cream shops and Togo’s sandwich stores. The unit could fetch more than $2 billion, according to a private equity executive familiar with the sale.
Bain Capital, Thomas H. Lee Partners and the Carlyle Group are also a team in the auction and have been ahead of the pack since the auction started, sources said.
Dunkin’ Donuts, the largest brand in the unit, is based near Bain and THLee’s hometown of Boston. While private equity watchers have deemed the auction pricey, sources have said the Bain group is approaching it aggressively.
Buyout firms Blackstone Group and Texas Pacific mulled a joint bid for the unit but backed off over concerns about its price, sources said. That group considered teaming up with Yum Brands Inc., which also weighed a bid but declined. Yum owns food chains Pizza Hut and KFC.
All companies and firms mentioned either declined to comment or were not immediately available.
J.P. Morgan Partners is the private equity arm of investment bank JPMorgan Chase & Co., which is running the auction. J.P. Morgan Partners is in the process of spinning off from the bank, a move that should be completed next year.