Suntory to sell 65% stake in Subway Japan


Suntory Holdings Ltd. will sell a 65 percent equity stake in Subway Japan Inc. to Subway International B.V., which controls the sandwich eatery chain outside the U.S., sources said Thursday.

The shares would be worth several hundred million yen.

In 1991, the Japanese food and beverage giant acquired the franchise rights to operate Subway restaurants in Japan.

Netherlands-based Subway International B.V. agreed with Suntory to co-own Subway Japan and proposed that it take direct management of the Japanese chain before the current franchise contract expires at the end of March, the sources said.

Suntory will hold the remaining 35 percent stake in Subway Japan and will remain involved in its day-to-day operations.

Subway International will appoint a new Subway Japan president to replace incumbent Naoaki Oikawa, who will remain with the company as vice president.

The Subway group is the world’s biggest restaurant chain. Subway Japan had 448 stores as of the end of 2015.