Jack in the Box Inc. operator and franchiser of Jack in the Box® restaurants announced yesterday evening that it has entered the fast-casual restaurant category with its purchase of Qdoba Restaurant Corporation, operator and franchiser of Qdoba Mexican Grill®, from ACI Capital Co., Western Growth Capital and other private investors. The $45 million cash acquisition, which closed today, makes Qdoba a wholly owned subsidiary of Jack in the Box Inc.

A Denver-based, privately held company, Qdoba produced approximately $65 million in 2002 systemwide sales and is a leader in the fastest-growing segment of the restaurant industry. Fast-casual restaurants typically deliver fresh, high-quality food that customers order at the counter to either dine in or take out.

Founded in 1995, Qdoba offers made-to-order nouveau Mexican meals for the adult market. Qdoba currently operates or franchises 85 restaurants in 16 states. The acquisition is expected to be marginally dilutive in the near term and to contribute to Jack in the Box earnings within the next few years.

“Within the emerging fast-casual sector, Qdoba Mexican Grill is a unique concept with significant national growth and franchising potential that is consistent with our long-term strategic direction,” said Robert J. Nugent, chairman and CEO of Jack in the Box. “Named one of the Top 50 regional ‘Powerhouse Chains’ of 2002 by Nation’s Restaurant News, Qdoba’s differentiated products have a distinctive flavor profile and broad appeal.”

Added Qdoba CEO Gary J. Beisler, “Qdoba and Jack in the Box share a commitment to quality and growth. Our experienced management teams have a similar goal: to achieve a national presence and to operate and franchise the premier restaurant concepts in our respective categories.”

News, Qdoba