Public markets to say goodbye to Ruby Tuesday after sale

October 16, 2017

Restaurant chain Ruby Tuesday is being acquired for about $146 million in a deal that will take the struggling chain private.

The private-equity firm NRD Capital said Monday that it will pay $2.40 for each Ruby Tuesday share, a 21 percent premium from the chain's closing price of $1.99 on Friday. When debt is included, the companies value the deal at $335 million. Ruby Tuesday said in March that it was considering a buyout.

The area is home to four Ruby Tuesdays, with three in Indianapolis and one in Anderson.

Like other sit-down restaurant chains, Ruby Tuesday has lost customers to cheaper, faster and more casual places. Comparable-store sales at Ruby Tuesday have fallen for six consecutive quarters and the company has not reported a quarterly profit in two years, even as it has made tweaks its menu and made small changes, like adding salad bars, in an attempt to boost traffic.

As of last month, there were 599 Ruby Tuesday restaurants in 41 states and 15 countries, down from 736 locations in 2015. Most of the restaurants are company-owned.

Atlanta's NRD is already in the restaurant business: It acquired Frisch's Big Boy Restaurants in 2015 and bought a majority stake in Fuzzy's Taco Shop last year. It has invested in other chains as well.

Shares of Ruby Tuesday Inc., based in Maryville, Tennessee, rose 38 cents, to $2.37 each, on Monday.


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