Earlier this year, Ruby Tuesday revealed that it was exploring strategic alternatives — corporate speak for a sale — after experiencing continued declining sales and closing nearly 100 underperforming stores. Now, the company has settled on its alternative, a $146 million sale to private equity firm NRD Capital.
Ruby Tuesday announced today that the chain will go private as it is acquired by a fund managed by NRD Capital, a firm specializing in franchised and multi-location business investments.
Under the deal, NRD will pay $2.40/per share for all of Ruby Tuesday’s common stock, a 37% premium over Ruby Tuesday’s share price in March when the chain announced it was looking at alternatives.
The deal, which is expected to close early next year, has been approved by Ruby Tuesday’s board of directors and NRD. It must still be approved by shareholders.
“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,” Aziz Hashim, founder of NRD, said in a statement.
A Tough Time
Ruby Tuesday, which currently operates nearly 600 locations, has seen sales dip in recent years.
Back in March, the company announced sales had declined 4% during the third quarter. That loss is on top of declines the company reported in August when revenue declined 5.9% during the 2016 fiscal year, with same-store sales declining 3.7% over the previous year.
Also in Aug. 2016, the company announced plans to close 95 underperforming locations as part of a “Fresh Start Initiative.” Performance at the targeted locations was not meeting exceptions, the company said.
At the time Ruby Tuesday said it believed its Fresh Start plan will ultimately create long-term value for shareholders. Under the plan, the company says it will attract more women and young families, as well as increasing visits from current Ruby Tuesday guests.