Jack in the Box is for sale

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Struggling fast-food chain Jack in the Box acknowledged Monday it has been in talks with potential buyers as it explores "strategic and financing alternatives to maximize shareholder value.”

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The San Diego-based burger chain has been beset recently with increasingly strained relations with its franchisees, weak performance compared to its rivals and pressure from activist investors.

"The Company has had discussions with potential buyers; however, it noted that there can be no assurance that the exploration of strategic and financing alternatives will result in a transaction," the Jack in the Box said in a statement. "That said, in the absence of a strategic transaction the Company remains committed to its previously communicated plan to have a new capital structure in place by the end of the first half of fiscal 2019. That capital structure could include, among other things, a securitization or bond issuance."

Shares of the company rose sharply on the news.

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“Potential alternatives could include, among other things, a sale of the Company or executing on the Company's previously announced plans to increase its leverage,” Jack in the Box, which has more than 2,200 restaurants in 21 states and Guam, said in a statement.

The announcement follows a series of unconfirmed reports that the company has been exploring a sale or major financial restructuing.

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JACKJACK IN THE BOX77.16-0.36-0.46%

The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.