Ann Nolan

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Jimmy John Liautaud Sells the Majority of His Company to Roark Capital

Jimmy John Liautaud is the founder of Jimmy John’s, a company he founded in 1983, just a day after he turned nineteen years old.

However, he is no longer the boss at the company seeing that he sold a majority of it to Roark Capital, which is a private equity firm headquartered in Atlanta.

Read more: Start and Grow Your Business: Guest Speaker Jimmy John Liautaud

Liautaud heads and concentrates on the culture, food and brand of the company. He is the taster-in-chief of the company. He still retains about 35% of the company, and he is worth $1.7 billion that he got from the deal and other personal investments.

According to Jimmy Liautaud, he is content with his current position, and he feels blessed. He is no longer stressed with the running of the business; hence, he is experiencing a full-throttle lifestyle. He has amassed a collection of fifty vehicles since 2005, and he still continues to indulge.

He added a black Ferrari worth $2.2 million, La Ferrari Aperta which is one of just 2009, in his collection just recently in November 2017. He keeps all his cars in a warehouse at the headquarters of Jimmy John’s.

He also owns a 200-foot yacht named Rock.It (which travelled to Monaco and Ibiza recently). When he is not working in the test kitchen or gracing store openings, he could be found at one of his many homes.

He spent time in Canada with Brock Lesnar (a pro wrestler sponsored by Jimmy John’s), and the two went deer hunting. He also went to Italy in December for a salami tour. The tour focused on finding the greatest salami in the whole world.

Roark Capital is already doing a tremendous job in making changes to the business. It hired John Shea, who was an executive at Gatorade previously, as the first chief marketing officer of Jimmy John’s.

Roark Capital is also assisting Jimmy John’s to use data in order to track and monitor everything from the traffic inside all the restaurants, customer satisfaction, and the demand for the items on the menu.

Roark is at a 41-story skyscraper in Atlanta and its founder, Aronson, runs an empire that has acquired a significant number of businesses including Carvel Ice Cream, Hardee’s, Arby’s and Buffalo Wild Wings, Cinnabon, Jamba Juice, Carl’s Jr., and others. Roark Capital boasts of managing and running over ten billion dollars in assets.

Jimmy John’s started as a small sub shop in near the Eastern Illinois University. In just a year, the company had made a net profit of $40000 from $154000 in sales. In 1986, Jimmy Liautaud set up another store near Western Illinois University. The company expanded to Champaign in Illinois which then became its headquarters.

Related: Jimmy John Liautaud – Owner, Founder, Chairman @ Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches – Overview | Crunchbase

By 2014, Jimmy John’s had grown to have more than two thousand stores in different locations. The company’s growth is what prompted Jimmy Liautaud to look for a partner who was experienced enough to manage Jimmy John’s, and that’s when he chose Roark Capital’s founder, Aronson.

Roark Capital focuses on the data and analytics of Jimmy John’s while Liautaud’s work is to ensure that the culture and brand of the company are seamless.

Learn more about Jimmy John Liautaud:

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