TULSA, Oklahoma - Sonic Corp. announced Tuesday they've been bought by Inspire Brands, Inc. for $43.50 per share in a transaction valued at about $2.3 billion.

Sonic shareholders have to approve the purchase which is expected to close by the end of the year.

Inspire owns more than 4,700 Arby's, Buffalo Wild Wings, and Rusty Taco locations around the world. Following the completion of the transaction, Sonic will be a privately-held subsidiary of Inspire and will continue to be operated as an independent brand.

"Sonic is a highly differentiated brand and is an ideal fit for the Inspire family," said Paul Brown, Chief Executive Officer of Inspire Brands.

“We have tremendous respect for Sonic’s exceptional team of employees and franchise owners, who have built one of the industry’s most distinctive restaurant brands."

Sonic CEO Cliff Hudson said Inspire is one of the largest owner-operators of company-owned and franchised restaurants.

"Inspire appreciates the unique culture of collaboration between Sonic and our franchisees," he said in a news release.

"Sonic franchisees are engaged in planning regarding technology, new products and marketing programs, and the team at Inspire recognizes the central role our franchisees have played, and will continue to play, in Sonic’s success. We look forward to working closely with Inspire as we continue to provide made-to-order American classics, distinctive flavors and the most personalized guest experience in our industry."