The Fresh Market has been acquired by an affiliate of Apollo Global Management to the tune of $1.4 billion. The transaction is anticipated to close during the second quarter of 2016.
“We are pleased to have reached this agreement with Apollo, which follows a comprehensive review of strategic and financial alternatives that generated interest from numerous parties. After an open and thorough process, our Board concluded that this offer maximizes value for our stockholders,” said Rich Noll, The Fresh Market’s Lead Independent Director.
The $28.50 per share all-cash offer by the Apollo Funds represents a premium of approximately 24 percent over The Fresh Market’s closing share price on March 11 and a premium of approximately 53 percent over the Feb. 10 closing share price, the day prior to press speculation regarding a potential transaction.
“We are excited about this transaction with Apollo, which recognizes the value of The Fresh Market’s strong brand and significant growth prospects while providing stockholders with an immediate and substantial premium,” said Rick Anicetti, The Fresh Market’s President and CEO. “Apollo is a highly-regarded investor, bringing deep industry expertise and financial resources, and we look forward to working with them to build on our progress in achieving our strategic plan to deliver long-term profitable growth.”
“We are delighted about this transaction with The Fresh Market, which was one of the early pioneers in small-box grocery, offering unique, delicious and healthy food with a keen focus on perishables,” said Andrew S. Jhawar, Senior Partner and Head of the Retail and Consumer Group at Apollo. “We believe there is a significant opportunity to enhance the brand, merchandise offering and price-value combination to make The Fresh Market a primary destination for food shoppers, while at the same time being committed to social responsibility through partnerships with local vendors and communities. Our team at Apollo has had the tremendous fortune of having executed transactions in several consumables retailers and brands – such as Sprouts Farmers Market, Smart & Final, Hostess Brands and General Nutrition Centers, among others – that have undergone significant transformations under our strategic guidance and we intend to bring that experience to bear at The Fresh Market. We look forward to partnering with Ray Berry, Brett Berry and George Golleher, and beginning our discussions with the executive management team and the over 13,000 team members at The Fresh Market so that we can assist the company in delivering the most inspiring and engaging food shopping experience in the industry with best-in-class customer service.”
The transaction – which is expected to close in the second quarter of 2016 – is conditioned upon satisfaction of the minimum tender condition which requires that shares representing more than 50 percent of the company’s common shares = be tendered, the receipt of approval under the Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 and other customary closing conditions.
Based in North Carolina, The Fresh Market is a specialty grocery retailer, that operates 186 store locations across 27 states.