SAN DIEGO — Jack in the Box Inc. has reached an agreement to acquire Del Taco Restaurants Inc. for $12.51 per share, or approximately $575 million. The move unites two brands with complementary cultures, guest profiles, operating models and market opportunities, the companies said.

Founded in Lake Forest, Calif., in 1964, Del Taco is the second largest Mexican quick-service restaurant chain in the United States with approximately 600 restaurants across 16 states. San Diego-based Jack in the Box is one of the nation’s largest hamburger chains with more than 2,200 restaurants in 21 states and Guam.

“We are thrilled to welcome Del Taco, a beloved brand and proven regional winner, to the Jack in the Box family,” said Darin Harris, chief executive officer of Jack in the Box. “This is a natural combination of two like-minded, challenger brands with outstanding growth opportunities. Together, Jack in the Box and Del Taco will benefit from a stronger financial model, gaining greater scale to invest in digital and technology capabilities, and unit growth for both brands. This acquisition fits squarely in our strategic pillars and helps us create new opportunities for the franchisees, team members and guests of both brands.

“Del Taco has a loyal, passionate guest base and a strong operating model, and we believe that we can leverage our infrastructure, experience refranchising and development strategy to support Del Taco’s growth plans and expand Del Taco’s footprint.” 

John D. Cappasola Jr., president and CEO of Del Taco, added, “We are excited to have found a partner in Jack in the Box that shares our vision for the future and has the QSR expertise to further accelerate Del Taco’s growth. In recent years, we have uniquely positioned Del Taco as a leader in the growing Mexican QSR category, expanded our digital capabilities to enhance consumer convenience and focused on growing the brand through franchising, resulting in eight consecutive years of franchise same-store sales growth and an accelerating new unit pipeline.

“We expect this transaction will provide Del Taco with the scale, complementary capabilities and opportunity to become even stronger partners to our franchisees and support their ability to drive substantial growth in our core and emerging markets.”

Jack in the Box said it expects the transaction to be mid-single-digit accretive to earnings per share, excluding transaction expenses, in year one. It is expected to be meaningfully accretive beginning in year two once full synergies are realized, the company noted.

Additionally, the combined company is expected to realize run-rate strategic and cost synergies of approximately $15 million by the end of fiscal 2023, Jack in the Box said. The company noted that the synergies are expected to be achieved primarily through procurement and supply chain savings, technology and digital efficiencies and other financial benefits, as well as knowledge-sharing initiatives.