Jack in the Box Inc., San Diego, Calif., entered into a definitive agreement to sell Qdoba Restaurant Corp., a Lakewood, Colo.-based wholly owned subsidiary of Jack in the Box, to Apollo Global Management, New York, for approximately $305 million. Qdoba operates and franchises more than 700 QDOBA MEXICAN EATS restaurants.

“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,” says Lenny Comma, chairman and CEO of Jack in the Box. “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.

“At the time, the company acquired Qdoba in 2003, it had 85 locations in 16 states, with $65 million in system-wide sales. Over the past 14 years, net units have grown at a compound annual growth rate of 16%. Today, Qdoba is the second largest fast-casual Mexican food brand in the U.S., with more than 700 locations in 47 states, the District of Columbia and Canada, and system-wide sales of more than $820 million in fiscal 2017. Keith Guilbault, Qdoba brand president, has assembled a talented and experienced management team, and we wish them, the franchisees and all of the brand employees continued success.”

“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. We are firmly committed to Qdoba’s continued growth as a leading fast-casual restaurant operator,” adds Lance Milken, senior partner for Apollo.