Ruby Tuesday to be bought by private-equity firm

Ruby Tuesday (RT) is being sold for $2.40 a share, or $146 million, to a fund managed by private equity firm NRD Capital, the company announced Monday.

The deal includes the acquisition of all of Ruby Tuesday's stock in cash, at a 21 percent premium over Friday's closing share price. Shares rose 38 cents, or more than 18 percent, to $2.37 in Monday morning trading. Including debt and other obligations, the deal values Ruby Tuesday at $335 million.

The restaurant chain has been in a rocky transition period. Its CEO resigned late last year after five years of declining sales at established restaurants, and the company announced the closure of 95 locations that same month. Ruby Tuesday has been updating its menu to meet changing consumer tastes, adding salads and expanding its Garden Bar.

NRD Capital said it sees Ruby Tuesday's pivot to fresher ingredients as potentially lucrative. 

"With a well-established brand, differentiated from other casual dining restaurants by its Garden Bar, we see significant opportunities to drive value," said Aziz Hashim, founder of NRD Capital, said in the statement.