Ruby Tuesday sale final under new CEO


Bang the gavel. Ruby Tuesday is sold, with a new CEO at the helm.

An Atlanta equity firm completed its purchase of the Maryville-based restaurant chain. The sale to NRD Capital had been announced in October, and a “large majority” of shareholders approved the transaction at a special meeting in New York.

The sale became final amid a wave of federal lawsuits filed last month by at least eight Ruby Tuesday shareholders who sought to stop it. The lawsuits claim Ruby Tuesday leadership failed to pursue better offers from other potential buyers.

Ruby Tuesday officials insisted those buyers didn’t submit credible proposals.

Aziz Hashim, founder and managing partner of NRD Capital, will take over as CEO. He replaces Jim Hyatt, who had been the chain’s CEO and president.

“Ruby Tuesday is an iconic American brand that is well-known for providing its guests with delicious food, great value and a differentiated dining experience,” Hashim said in a news release. “It is our belief that by leveraging the brand’s core strengths - investing in its people and product, exploring new opportunities for growth and executing operational excellence initiatives across the company - Ruby Tuesday can once again generate excitement with diners.”

The terms of the sale call for shareholders to receive $2.40 per share in cash, minus tax, for a total value of about $335 million, according to a news release.

Ruby Tuesday’s stock will no longer be traded on the New York Stock Exchange, as it’s now a private company.

As of Dec. 1, Ruby Tuesday owned and operated 541 restaurants in 41 states, 15 countries and Guam, and franchised 55 others. Most of the restaurants are clustered in the Southeast, Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest.

Locally, the chain has two restaurants in Alcoa and one each in Athens, Harriman, Jefferson City, Knoxville, Lenoir City, Morristown, Newport, Powell and Sevierville.

Source: Knoxville News Sentinel

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