Rubaiyat, which operates three steakhouses in Brazil and one in Spain, plans to open restaurants next year in Mexico City and Bogota after selling a large stake to a Spanish investment fund, a top executive told the weekly Veja.

The infusion of cash from the Spanish investors will allow the restaurant company, which got its start in Sao Paulo, to expand internationally, general manager Belarmino Fernandez Iglesias Filho said.

The executive said he would continue to run the company even though his family no longer has a controlling interest.

Rubaiyat, which serves about 600,000 customers annually at its three locations in Sao Paulo and its Madrid eatery, wants to open 10 restaurants over the next four years in other cities in Brazil, different countries in Latin America and the United States, the executive said.

The expansion process will start with the opening of restaurants in Brasilia and Rio de Janeiro, with eateries in Mexico City and Colombia following.

The international expansion will be financed with part of the 46 million euros ($56.3 million) that Spain's Mercapital paid last week for a 70 percent stake in Rubaiyat.

The stock belonged to Belarmino Fernandez Iglesias, the general manager's father, who founded the steakhouse chain in 1951, and his other two sons.

"The entry of Mercapital is the definitive step to give a business structure to Rubaiyat," Fernandez Iglesias Filho, who will hold a 30 percent stake in the steakhouse chain, said. EFE