Ruby Tuesday Announces Aziz Hashim as Interim CEO

MARYVILLE, Tenn. and ATLANTA, Dec. 21, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ruby Tuesday, Inc. (the “Company”), and NRD Capital (“NRD” or the “Firm”), an Atlanta-based private equity firm that specializes in franchised and multi-unit business investments, announced today that, effective immediately, Aziz Hashim, Founder and Managing Partner of NRD, will serve as the Company's interim CEO until the Firm appoints a permanent successor to the outgoing CEO and President, Jim Hyatt.

This change in leadership comes shortly after the closing of NRD’s take-private acquisition of Ruby Tuesday, which was approved by shareholders by a large margin yesterday and officially closed this morning. The Company is now operating as a private company in NRD’s portfolio.

Aziz Hashim is one of the world’s leading experts on franchising, with over three decades of experience owning and operating franchises around the globe, and previously serving as Chairman of the International Franchise Association from 2016-2017. As NRD’s Managing Partner, which he founded in 2014, Mr. Hashim oversees all aspects of NRD’s vision and investment strategy. In addition to holding these leadership responsibilities, Mr. Hashim is actively involved in the firm’s current investments in Ruby Tuesday, Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, Frisch’s Big Boy, Mike’s Kitchen S.A. and FundRx.

“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,” said Mr. Hashim. “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. On behalf of everyone at NRD Capital and our LPs, I want to be the first to officially welcome Ruby Tuesday to the NRD family and express my excitement about our future together.”

Prior to NRD Capital, in 1996 Mr. Hashim founded NRD Holdings, a franchise development and holding company he grew into one of the largest restaurant franchisee companies in the United States. At NRD Holdings, Mr. Hashim worked with leading global franchise brands, including Popeye’s®, KFC®, Taco Bell® and Domino’s Pizza®. In 2014, as a testament to his success at NRD Holdings, Nation’s Restaurant News named Mr. Hashim one of the 50 most influential people in the restaurant industry.

About Ruby Tuesday, Inc.

Ruby Tuesday, Inc. owns and franchises Ruby Tuesday brand restaurants. As of December 1, 2017, there were 596 Ruby Tuesday restaurants in 41 states, 14 foreign countries, and Guam. Of those restaurants, the company owns and operates 541 Ruby Tuesday restaurants and franchises 55 Ruby Tuesday restaurants. The company-owned and operated restaurants are concentrated primarily in the Southeast, Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Midwest of the United States, which are considered to be the company’s core markets. Ruby Tuesday was acquired and officially taken-private by NRD Capital on December 21, 2017. For more information about Ruby Tuesday, please visit www.rubytuesday.com.

About NRD Capital

NRD Capital Management, LLC, founded by Aziz Hashim, invests in brands that offer superior products or services and compelling unit-level economics in order to help them strategically grow through the power of franchising. The fund invests in small to medium-sized franchisors, infusing capital and applying operating expertise to grow brands. NRD has thus far acquired three US-based multi-location franchise brands, Ruby Tuesday, Frisch’s Big Boy and Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, which have generated $1.4+ billion in annual system revenues from 850 locations. NRD made its first international investment in May 2017 when the firm acquired South Africa-based Mike’s Kitchen. The fund has also made a significant growth capital investment in FundRx, an early stage venture capital firm focused on healthcare and life sciences with a portfolio of 15 startup companies. All four brands and the venture capital firm are currently in NRD’s portfolio. Through its international philanthropic arm, the NRD Foundation, the firm makes investments in both for-profit and non-profit organizations and initiatives that create entrepreneurs and wide-spread financial independence around the world. NRD made its first investment out of this vehicle with Jibu in November 2017. For more information please visit www.nrdcapital.com.


Jake Malcynsky
(203) 682-8375

Source: Ruby Tuesday, Inc.;NRD Capital