Is Dunkin Stock Publicly Traded?

The East Coast had great coffee long before Starbucks opened its first Seattle shop in 1971. Dunkin, the chain formerly known as Dunkin Donuts, was a pioneer in all-day coffee service. The Quincy, Massachusetts, brand launched in 1950 and quickly became a customer favorite. In addition to high-quality coffee, Dunkin was known for fresh donuts and other treats that were as good as – or sometimes better than – homemade. 

Dunkin caught on right away, and within four years, founder William Rosenberg opened four additional locations. Today, there are more than 13,200 Dunkin restaurants in 46 countries around the world. It’s a popular franchise because customers are extremely loyal. In fact, Dunkin has been named the number one coffee brand for customer loyalty 15 years in a row. 

Does Dunkin Have A Moat? 

Dunkin sells over 60 cups of coffee every second, which translates into billions of cups every year.

The Dunkin brand is well-known among consumers, many of whom would prefer to travel farther and pay more for their favorite Dunkin beverage than to try out an unfamiliar coffee shop. That creates a competitive edge – what billionaire investor Warren Buffett calls a “moat” – which keeps other coffee brands from encroaching on Dunkin’s market share. 

Any company with a wide moat attracts investor attention, and Dunkin is no exception. Is Dunkin stock publicly traded? And, if so, is Dunkin stock a buy? 

What Was Dunkin Donuts IPO Price?

Dunkin Brands spent 61 years as a privately held company. By 2011, the chain had 6,800 locations, and it had already started winning awards for customer loyalty. At that time, Starbucks had expanded from its Seattle roots and grown to 11,000 stores nationwide.

Dunkin was beginning to explore the West Coast market, but in 2011, only 100 of the 6,800 total restaurants could be found beyond the Atlantic Seaboard. 

With Starbucks encroaching on Dunkin’s home turf, Dunkin’s leadership decided it was time for a powerful response. It announced a goal of 15,000 stores across the United States by 2031 – and it had plans to take the California market by storm.

Of course, going head-to-head with Starbucks required capital, so Dunkin Brands prepared to go public. Its IPO took place in July of 2011, with shares priced at $19.  

What Is Dunkin Stock Symbol?

Dunkin Brands listed its shares on the Nasdaq exchange under the stock symbol DNKN. Investors responded with tremendous enthusiasm. By the end of the first day of trading, Dunkin stock was up nearly 50 percent over the IPO price. 

Listing on the public exchange raised $422.75 million, and Dunkin ended the day with a market cap of $3.5 billion. Though it was still much smaller than competitors like Starbucks and McDonald’s, the results of the IPO made Dunkin’s leaders and shareholders optimistic about the company’s future. 

Is Dunkin Stock Publicly Traded?

Traders who want to buy Dunkin stock usually start with a search on their favorite brokerage sites.

Is Dunkin stock on Robinhood, E*Trade, or tastytrade? Unfortunately, the answer is no.

Dunkin stock’s last day of trading on the Nasdaq was December 14, 2020 – the same day it achieved its all-time high of $106.48. What happened? 

What Company Owns Dunkin?

Dunkin customers are known to stop in for coffee any time of day, but mornings are by far the busiest. As the tagline goes, “America Runs on Dunkin.” People need their coffee before diving into the responsibilities of the day. 

In early 2020, Inspire Brands owned a robust portfolio of popular restaurants, including Buffalo Wild Wings, Arby’s, Sonic, and Jimmy John’s. It had something for just about every craving – the only piece missing was a breakfast chain. Dunkin, which was open to being acquired, fit neatly into the Inspire Brands family. In late October, Inspire Brands and Dunkin issued a joint announcement that Inspire Brands would acquire Dunkin by the end of the year. 

Inspire Brands offered an all-cash deal that would reward shareholders with a 20 percent premium over Dunkin stock’s price as of October 23, 2020. The deal closed on December 15, 2020, at which time shareholders received $106.50 per share, and Dunkin stock was delisted from the Nasdaq exchange. 

Inspire Brands CEO Paul Brown explained that he was willing to make a generous offer for Dunkin because he had confidence in the company’s growth potential. The Inspire Brands strategy is to grow all of its brands while simultaneously realizing economies of scale that reduce expenses and increase profits. In an August 2020 interview, Brown said: 

Really the thesis we have around the value of having a broad brand portfolio and achieving scale through acquisition really has played out very much over the last few months in terms of the value of our portfolio and the value of our scale.

Bear in mind that all of this took place early in the COVID-19 pandemic when the restaurant industry was struggling to stay afloat. Inspire Brands’ success in executing on its strategy despite the challenges presented by the pandemic is a testament to the company’s strength.

Today, Inspire Brands has 32,000 restaurants located in 56 global markets, and it employs more than 650,000 company and franchise team members.

Is Inspire Brands Publicly Traded?

Though the acquisition of Dunkin was a win for shareholders when the transaction was finalized, there was a big drawback. The opportunity to buy Dunkin stock was gone. Investors who agree with Inspire Brands that Dunkin has significant growth potential can’t be a part of that journey because Inspire Brands is not publicly traded. 

Inspire Brands is a privately held company owned by the private equity firm Roark Capital Group. Roark Capital has more than $35 billion in assets under management, with a heavy concentration in restaurants, food, health, and wellness.

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The author has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Financhill has a disclosure policy. This post may contain affiliate links or links from our sponsors.