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Jack in the Box closes restaurant deals

Numerous deals for Jack in the Box restaurants, including the final sale of 66 locations formerly owned by bankrupt franchisee Kobra Associates, as well as the sale of 21 corporate locations in Northern California, have closed in recent weeks.

Jack in the Box, which operates or franchises about 2,200 restaurants, confirmed the deals Thursday but did not offer any details.

The group of 21 restaurants in Sacramento, Modesto and Los Banos, Calif., were sold as part of the San Diego-based company’s ongoing refranchising plan and were acquired by franchise operator MarLu Investment Group. MarLu received $23.5 million in financing from GE Capital Franchise Finance’s bank affiliate, GE Capital Financial Inc., to fund the acquisition, refinance existing restaurants and create a line of credit for future development needs, according to the lender.

MarLu is the third largest domestic franchisee of the Church’s Chicken brand, operating 46 of the fried-chicken restaurants. The franchise operator also owns and operates two Arby’s locations and two Little Caesars Pizza restaurants.

In other Jack in the Box news, the sale of 66 units in Northern California, formerly owned by franchisee Kobra Associates and its affiliated companies, has been completed according to officials with National Franchise Sales, the firm handling the location sales. Kobra filed for Chapter 11 reorganization last year.

Ten units in the Chico/Redding area went to a franchise group led by Ben Nematzadeh, who also bought a block of 21 units in the Fresno area in an earlier transaction. Another 26 units in the Sacramento area went to a group led by Anil Yadav. Five units in the Sacramento area also went to Sunita Sagar; two units in Fresno to Jyoti Madhura; and locations in Eureka and Crescent City went to a group led by Romesh Japra.

At the end of its April-ended quarter, Jack in the Box said it had refranchised 53 restaurants so far this year. The company noted that it was on track to achieving its goal of increasing the percentage of franchise ownership to between 70 percent and 80 percent of the system by the end of fiscal 2013. The company expects to pass the 50 percent franchised mark later this year, it said.

Contact Lisa Jennings at [email protected].

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