Ruby Tuesday Inc. has sold the remainder of its Lime Fresh Mexican Grill franchised holdings to EverFresh Endeavors for $4.6 million, the company said late Wednesday.
The Maryville, Tenn.-based casual-dining company also said it had completed the earlier announced $6 million sale of eight Lime Fresh units to Rubio’s Restaurants Inc., which is rebranding the locations as Rubio’s Coastal Grill. Six of the sold Lime Fresh locations had already been closed.
Ruby Tuesday said EverFresh Endeavors is a joint venture between Triout Holdings, Mandala Holdings and Belmont Investment Corp. The six franchise-owned Lime Fresh Mexican Grill restaurants in South Florida will remain open and operate as Lime Fresh Mexican Grills by the individual franchise owners, the company said.[CHARTBEAT:3]
Ruby Tuesday on Nov. 6 said it would close 11 of its owned Lime Fresh units, which it had acquired in April 2012 for $24 million.
The company said the sale agreement with EverFresh includes the intellectual property rights and franchising rights for Lime Fresh Mexican Grill.
“Lime Fresh Mexican Grill is a strong brand with broad customer appeal,” said JJ Buettgen, Ruby Tuesday’s CEO, president and chairman, in a statement. “However, we believe focusing exclusively on the brand transformation of our namesake Ruby Tuesday restaurants is in our shareholders’ best interest.”
As of March 1, Ruby Tuesday owned and franchised 729 Ruby Tuesday restaurants in 44 states, 13 foreign countries and Guam. It owned 649 Ruby Tuesday restaurants and franchised 80 units.