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Jack in the Box buys Qdoba

Los Angeles Times

Four months after announcing plans to become a national chain, San Diego-based Jack in the Box Inc. on Tuesday announced its entree into the rapidly growing fast-casual restaurant category by acquiring the parent of the Qdoba Mexican Grill.

Jack in the Box, the United States’ fourth-largest-selling hamburger chain, paid $45 million to acquire the Denver-based Qdoba Restaurant Corp. from ACI Capital Co. and Western Growth Capital, both New York-based, and other private investors. The sale of the chain — which had $65 million in 2002 systemwide sales — closed Tuesday.

The purchase of closely held Qdoba — with 85 outlets in 16 states but none in California — moves Jack in the Box closer to a goal, announced in September, of being a national player, a spokeswoman said.

The burger chain operates or franchises more than 1,800 restaurants in 17 states and had sales of nearly $2 billion in its 2002 fiscal year.