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said Tuesday it plans to sell its Qdoba restaurant franchise to private equity firm for about $305 million in cash.
The deal is expected to close by April. The company plans to use the net cash from the deal to repay outstanding debt and bolster shareholder value.
Shares of Jack in the Box were halted pending the news, however Apollo shares rose about 1 percent in premarket trading Tuesday.
"For the past several months, we have worked closely with our financial advisors and evaluated various strategic alternatives with respect to Qdoba, including a sale or spin-off, as well as opportunities to refranchise company restaurants," Lenny Comma, CEO and chairman of Jack in the Box, said in a statement. "Following the completion of this robust process, our Board of Directors has determined that the sale of Qdoba is the best alternative for enhancing shareholder value and is consistent with the Company's desire to transition to a less capital-intensive business model."
There are more than 700 Qdoba restaurants in the United States and Canada and the brand garnered sales of more than $820 million in fiscal 2017, according to the company. Jack in the Box acquired the fast casual Mexican food chain in 2003. At the time, there were 85 locations in 16 states.
"We are extremely excited to be acquiring Qdoba and look forward to working with the management team, employees and franchisees to continue building the Qdoba brand," Lance Milken, senior partner at Apollo, said in a statement. "We are firmly committed to Qdoba's continued growth as a leading fast-casual restaurant operator."