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Ruby Tuesday, Inc. Announces the Sale of Its American Cafe And Tia's Tex-Mex Concepts


MARYVILLE, Tenn., Nov. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Ruby Tuesday, Inc. (NYSE: RI) announced today that it has completed the previously announced sale of the Company's American Cafe(R) and Tia's(R) Tex-Mex restaurant concepts to Specialty Restaurant Group, LLC ("SRG") led by James CarMichael (formerly President and Partner of the American Cafe and Tia's Tex-Mex concepts). The transaction was valued at approximately $59 million of which approximately $30 million was received by the Company in cash, with the remaining being financed by the Company. The restaurants will be operated under their current brand names and the current team members will remain in place. The Company expects to use the cash proceeds to fund future growth and repurchase shares of Company common stock under its ongoing stock repurchase program.

Commenting on the sale, Sandy Beall, Chairman and CEO, said, "we are extremely excited to have completed this transaction as expected during our second fiscal quarter. This sale allows us to focus entirely on our core brand, Ruby Tuesday(R), which has tremendous growth potential. We are also excited about the opportunity this transaction provides James CarMichael and his team."

James CarMichael noted, "my team members and I are excited to have the opportunity to run our own business. Both American Cafe and Tia's Tex-Mex have great potential and we look forward to the opportunity this transaction offers us."

As of September 3, 2000, the Company owned and operated 414 restaurants, including 346 Ruby Tuesday, 41 American Cafe, and 27 Tia's Tex-Mex Restaurants, located in 37 states. Franchised operations included 141 domestic units and 10 international units. Ruby Tuesday, Inc. is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (Symbol: RI).

    For more information, contact: Phone:  865-379-5700
    Russell Mothershed                  Price Cooper
    Sr. Vice President and              Director, Investor
    Chief Financial Officer             Relations and Planning

    Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Information

This press release contains various "forward-looking statements" which represent the Company's expectations or beliefs concerning future events, including the following: future financial performance and unit growth (both Company-owned and franchised), future capital expenditures, future borrowings and repayment of debt, and payment of dividends. The Company cautions that a number of important factors could, individually or in the aggregate, cause actual results to differ materially from those included in the forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, the following: consumer spending trends and habits; mall-traffic trends; increased competition in the casual dining restaurant market; weather conditions in the regions in which Company- owned and franchised restaurants are operated; consumers' acceptance of the Company's development concepts; laws and regulations affecting labor and employee benefit costs; costs and availability of food and beverage inventory; the Company's ability to attract qualified managers and franchisees; changes in the availability of capital; and general economic conditions.
SOURCE Ruby Tuesday, Inc.
CONTACT: Russell Mothershed, Sr. Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, or Price Cooper, Director, Investor Relations and Planning, of Ruby Tuesday, Inc., 865-379-5700