OKLAHOMA CITY — Shareholders have approved the sale of drive-in burger chain Sonic to the parent company of Arby’s in a $2.3 billion merger.
Sonic shareholders ratified the pending agreement with Inspire Brands Inc. on Thursday, The Journal Record reported .
The company’s investors voted on two proposals. The first was to authorize the merger and the other was to compensate Sonic’s executive officers in connection with the deal. Following the merger, Sonic will no longer be traded publicly.
Cliff Hudson, current Sonic Chairman and CEO, said that getting approached for the deal was unanticipated but he was proud of building a profitable company.
When Hudson became CEO in 1995, the Oklahoma-based company had 1,400 drive-ins and $880 million in system-wide sales. He’s now departing the business with 3,600 drive-ins and $4.5 billion in sales.
Hudson said the new technology — including Sonic designing its own app to work with the drive-in stalls — was attractive to Inspire.
“This is a great place,” he said. “It will continue to be a great place to work and to have a work life.”
He intends to serve as a senior consultant until March 2019 while the business shifts into new ownership.
Inspire also completed a deal to purchase Buffalo Wild Wings earlier this year.