The Fresh Market has agreed to be acquired by funds affiliated with Apollo Global Management in an all-cash deal worth roughly $1.36 billion, according to a joint press release from the two companies.
The Apollo buyout is the culmination of a strategic review of alternatives The Fresh Market conducted. According to media reports, that review attracted several potential suitors, including supermarket chain operator Kroger and buyout specialist KKR. Under the terms of the deal, The Fresh Market has the option of soliciting alternative proposals until midnight on April 1.
The Apollo buyout is contingent upon at least 50% of Fresh Market stockholders tendering their shares. This does not include the nearly 10% stake held by company founder Ray Berry and his son, Brett, which is to be rolled over.
In the joint press release issued by The Fresh Market and Apollo regarding their transaction, Apollo's head of the retailer and consumer group Andrew Jhawar said the company “believes 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."
The Fresh Market has nearly 190 stores in 27 states and is particularly active in the Southeast.