By Joshua Franklin and Harry Brumpton
(Reuters) – Jack in the Box Inc (O:JACK), a U.S. hamburger restaurant chain with more than 2,000 restaurants, is exploring options that could include a sale of the company after divesting its Qdoba brand earlier this year, people familiar with the matter told Reuters on Thursday.
A sale would be the latest in a series of deals in the fast food sector this year, including the sale of drive-in burger chain Sonic to Arby’s owner Inspire Brands for about $1.57 billion.
Jack in the Box started talks with potential buyers this month, including private equity firms, the sources said. There is no certainty that any deal will be reached, added the sources, who asked not to be identified because the matter is confidential.
Jack in the Box did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Its shares rose 6.6 percent on the news to $89.14 on Thursday afternoon, giving it a market capitalization of $2.3 billion.
Jack in the Box has been grappling with decreased consumer demand for fast food, as well as with higher wages for its workers.