Ruby Tuesday has been sold: The chain will be acquired by Atlanta-based private-equity firm NRD Capital for $2.40 a share. Including the debt obligations, NRD will acquire the chain for about $335 million. Ruby Tuesday had announced it was for sale earlier this year after closing 95 restaurants last year.
“The board of directors and our advisors have thoroughly evaluated all options available to the Company and are confident that this agreement will provide the most promising opportunity to realize the highest value for our stockholders while providing the best path forward for the Ruby Tuesday brand, its employees, franchisees, and loyal customers,” said Stephen Sadove, non-executive chairman of Ruby Tuesday. “NRD Capital has a distinguished track record of achieving and maintaining profitable growth for restaurant concepts and will be an excellent partner to lead Ruby Tuesday going forward.”
“Our focus at NRD is investing in quality restaurant companies and providing strategic and operational expertise to create sustainable value. With a well-established brand, differentiated from other casual dining restaurants by its Garden Bar, we see significant opportunities to drive value for Ruby Tuesday,” said Hashim, founder of NRD. “We are excited to be part of the company’s next chapter. As a private company, we will be able to take a long-term view on Ruby Tuesday, allowing us to make an investments in people, product, and customer experience, without public company constraints. This approach will enable us to reward everyone involved in our success, in addition to our investors.”
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One of the oldest sit-down casual chains, Ruby Tuesday has struggled against fast-casual competition despite a relaunch focused on family-friendly fare such as the salad bar, ribs and chicken fingers.
The announcement of the potential sale came as Tennessee-based Ruby Tuesday also announced a first-quarter loss of $9.8 million. There are 599 Ruby Tuesday restaurants in 41 states, 14 foreign countries and Guam.
Lexington’s last Ruby Tuesday closed in 2010. The closest one is in Georgetown at 100 Tiger Way. There also is one in Louisville, Somerset and Cold Spring, according to the company’s website.