Visitors to San Diego often step off the plane looking to try a fish taco. Now, Rubio’s, the company credited for introducing the fish taco to Southern California, is being bought by a Connecticut-based investment firm.
Mill Road Capital announced Monday it is purchasing Rubio’s Restaurants.
The deal prices Rubio's outstanding stock at $8.70 per share, which is a 14 percent premium to the company's Friday closing stock price of $7.66. Mill Road currently owns about 5 percent of the restaurant operator's shares.
The first Rubio’s opened in Mission Bay 27 years ago and is headquartered in Carlsbad.
The board unanimously approved the acquisition, which is expected to close in the third quarter.
Rubio's said in October that it was looking into its strategic options, including a potential sale of the company.
"Ralph Rubio represents one of the greatest entrepreneurial stories in San Diego history," said money expert and NBC San Diego contributor George Chamberlin.
"From a vacant root beer shop in Pacific Beach to a chain of restaurants throughout the Western United States, Rubio's has proven that a great idea with motivated leadership can work," Chamberlin said. "I'm sure Ralph will work to guarantee his many diners that the quality he so aggressively guaranteed will not change with the new ownership."
Shares of Rubio's Restaurants rose 84 cents, or 11 percent, to $8.50 and reached a 52-week high of $8.60 in earlier trading Monday.