Sandwich chain Subway is exploring a possible sale

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In this photo illustration, a Subway sandwich is seen on a table at a Subway restaurant on January 12, 2023 in Austin, Texas.

Brandon Bell | Getty Images

Sandwich giant Subway confirmed Tuesday it is exploring a possible sale.

A deal could value the chain at more than $10 billion, according to report last month from the Wall Street Journal report, which first reported the company had advisors to explore a sale.

Subway said Tuesday JP Morgan is advising the Connecticut-based company and will conduct the sale exploration process. The company didn’t outline any timing and cautioned the process may not result in a sale.

“The management team remains committed to the future and will continue to execute against its multi-year transformation journey, which includes a focus on menu innovation, modernization of restaurants and improvements to its overall guest experience,” the company said in the release.

Subway, which has over 37,000 restaurants in more than 100 countries, said earlier this month its same-store sales climbed 9.2% last year. Same-store sales at North American locations jumped 7.8% in 2022, Subway said, surpassing decade-old average weekly sales records.

Subway is not required to disclose its financial results as it is privately owned, but has recently shared sales updates as it undergoes a turnaround effort.

The company has reported eight consecutive quarters of sales growth, the company said in a release earlier this month. Digital sales have more than tripled since 2019. The improvements mark a stark reversal after years of sales declines.

Subway is also operating in a smaller footprint: The company’s location count fell 22% from 2015 to 2021. The company plans to remodel 3,600 North American locations and improve franchisee profitability this year, CNBC previously reported.

The foundation for Subway co-founder Peter Buck, who died in November 2021, announced he left his 50% ownership to the organization, meaning it will soon be half-owned by a charity. It is unclear if that will impact a potential sale.

— CNBC’s Amelia Lucas contributed to this report.

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