Luby’s, the classic cafeteria chain with many down-home meals and more, announced on Wednesday that it planned to sell its restaurant business and assets in order to pay shareholders who’ve long been unhappy with the Houston-based company’s financial performance.
“We believe that proceeding with this sale process followed by distributions contemplated under a proceeds distribution plan will maximize value for our stockholders, while also preserving the flexibility to pursue a sale of the Company should a compelling offer that delivers superior value be made,” Luby’s Chief Executive Chris Pappas said in a statement. “This path also provides for the potential to place the restaurant operations with well-capitalized owners moving forward.”
The decision to sell the company comes after a nine-month review by a special board committee designed to create “strategic alternatives” to increase shareholder value. The company has struggled to draw people to its restaurants in recent years due to changing consumer tastes and desires as well as growing competition.
Then the coronavirus hit. It forced numerous restaurants to close for months and even after restaurants were allowed to reopen, Luby’s is currently operating 31 cafeterias and eight Fuddruckers hamburger restaurants. On Wednesday (June 3), the company revealed a loss of $3.8 million during its second quarter, down from earnings of $6.6 million during the same period in 2019. Second-quarter revenue topped at $68.6 million, down nearly 8 percent from the $74.4 million revenue in 2019.
The company has 118 corporate-owned restaurants across the country and also oversees 59 Fuddrucker restaurants. Those are owned by franchisees and are not part of the asset sales.