SAN ANTONIO-Taco Cabana Inc. has merged with Carrols Corp., the billion-dollar conglomerate owner of Burger King restaurants. The merger is not expected to affect Taco Cabana’s 126 restaurants or employees. “We expect that everything will stay exactly the same,” a Taco Cabana source tells

Tuesday, Taco Cabana Inc. shareholders approved the merger with Carrols Corp. The agreement calls for Carrols to purchase, for cash, all outstanding shares of Taco Cabana Inc., at $9.04 per share.

The merger will not affect expansion plans, David Lloyd of Taco Cabana. The company is planning to open seven more locations in existing markets in Texas and Arizona.

Taco Cabana, headquartered in San Antonio, pioneered the Mexican patio café concept in 1978 and added the idea of turning it into a 24-hour operation. The company went public in 1992 and last granted a franchise in 1993. The company currently operates 126 restaurants in Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, Oklahoma City and Phoenix.

Taco Cabana’s website lists expansion plans, which include filling out markets in Dallas, Houston, Oklahoma City and Phoenix. Officials from Carrols Corp. and Taco Cabana were unavailable to answer questions regarding possible changes in expansion plans.

Carrols Corp., headquartered in Syracuse, NY, are the franchisees of Burger King, with 10,600 restaurants in 50 states and 54 countries, and annual sales of $10.9 billion. The corporation has an additional $450 million in sales from 400 restaurants the company owns and operates in 14 states, among them, Pollo Tropical and Tropi Grill, located primarily in Florida.

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