PE major Apollo Global nears deal to buy out US grocery retailer Fresh Market for $1.3b

Private equity firm Apollo Global Management is nearing a deal to acquire Fresh Market Inc, a U.S. specialty grocery retailer, for more than $1.3 billion, people familiar with the matter said on Friday.

The deal would underscore Apollo’s confidence that it can turn around companies in the highly competitive U.S. grocery sector. The New York-based buyout firm’s past investments include Sprouts Farmers Market and Smart & Final Stores Inc.

Apollo has prevailed in an auction for Fresh Market with a cash offer of $28.50 per share, and is now finalizing the terms of the deal, one of the people said.

An agreement could be announced as early as Monday, the people added, cautioning it had not yet been finalized and that it was still possible for the deal to be amended or fall apart at the last minute.

Apollo declined to comment, while Fresh Market representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Fresh Market said in October it had retained investment bank JP Morgan Chase & Co to assist in a review of strategic options, including the potential sale of the company. Fresh Market’s shares ended trading in New York on Friday at $22.98.

Reuters had earlier reported, citing sources, that the Greensboro, North Carolina-based company’s founder and board chairman Ray Berry was considering taking the company private.

Berry’s son-in-law, Michael Barry, who previously served as Fresh Market’s chief financial officer, was also considering rolling his 6.4 per cent stake in the deal, the sources said at the time.

Fresh Market has 183 stores, which it operates across 27 states. Its predominately southeastern locations include North Carolina, Florida and Georgia. Its Mid-Atlantic and Midwest locations include Connecticut, New York, Kansas, Illinois and Oklahoma.

Last year, Fresh Market hired Rick Anicetti as chief executive to help battle low margins and declining same-store sales. He had previously served for eight years as President and CEO of Food Lion LLC’s grocery stores.

 

(Reuters)

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.