Jack in the Box operates 2,255 quick-service restaurants. Photo courtesy of Jack in the Box Inc.

Jack in the Box operates 2,255 quick-service restaurants. Photo courtesy of Jack in the Box Inc.

Kearny Mesa-based Jack in the Box Inc. has extended its deadline to March 15 to appoint two new independent directors to its board, the company said in a Jan. 4 U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

The original deadline to appoint the members was Jan. 8 but was moved as part of ongoing discussions with investors Jana Partners LLC to explore “strategic and financing alternatives to maximize shareholders value.”

Jack in the Box has been exploring sales options since late last year. According to a news release, this could include a sale of the company or executing on the company’s plans to have a new capital structure in place by the end of the first half of fiscal 2019 to increase its leverage. The company also said it was in talks with potential buyers, but it has not disclosed any suitors.

In October, the national Jack in the Box Franchisee Association asked for the termination of CEO Leonard "Lenny" Comma, and the current leadership team. A few weeks later, New York-based hedge fund, Jana Partners disclosed it had trimmed its holdings in Jack in the Box, down to 1,831,007 shares from 2,050,325 shares during the second quarter.

In early November, Jack in the Box announced plans to lay off 66 corporate employees as of Jan. 4. According to a Jack in the Box spokesperson, layoffs will continue through April. In late November, Reuters first reported Jack in the Box was mulling over the possibility of selling the company. And in early December, The Jack in the Box National Franchisee Association filed a lawsuit against Jack in the Box alleging the San Diego company failed to perform its contractual duties.

Jack in the Box has 2,237 restaurants as of end of fiscal year 2018, 93 percent of which are franchise-owned and operated; 85 percent of those are represented by members of the Jack in the Box National Franchisee Association.