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CARPINTERIA, CA-Fast-food-chain owner CKE Restaurants is selling its 96-unit La Salsa Fresh Mexican Grill chain to the owners of competing concept Baja Fresh Mexican Grill. The parties expect to close the transaction, for which a purchase price was not released, by the end of June.

The acquisition will give Baja Fresh about 400 Mexican restaurants across the country, mostly in western states. Locally-based CKE, which also owns the Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. chains, is selling La Salsa to focus on those concepts, says Andrew Puzder, the company’s president and CEO.

Thousand Oaks, CA-based Baja Fresh, formerly a Wendy’s chain, changed hands late last year when restaurant-franchise operator David Kim acquired it for $31 million. At that time, the chain faced lagging revenues, with same-store sales dropping 5.5% year over year in its last-reported quarter.

CKE never broke out same-store sales data for La Salsa. Total revenues for the chain during this year’s first quarter, which ended May 21, came in at $13.4 million.

The combined Baja Fresh-La Salsa ownership is part of a large crowd of fast-casual, national Mexican chains. Chipotle Mexican Grill, which was previously owned by McDonald’s, is generally considered the category leader, with about 600 units and revenue of $236.1 million in its latest quarter.

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