Apollo Management To Acquire Smart & Final Stores

Smart & Final Stores is in a second go-around with Apollo Global Management, which has acquired the retailer, this time from Ares Management.

The retailer announced that it entered into a definitive merger agreement with investment funds managed by affiliates of Apollo Global Management, which will acquire all outstanding shares of Smart & Final’s common stock for $6.50 per share in cash. Apollo funds owned Smart & Final from 2007 to 2012 before its sale to Ares. The transaction is expected to close by the third quarter of 2019.

Smart & Final is a value-oriented retailer operating 257 stores from central California to south central Arizona under its Smart & Final banner, which offers products in a variety of sizes, including those associated with warehouse clubs, without a membership fee. Smart & Final also operates 67 stores in the Pacific Northwest and Northern California under its Smart Foodservice banner, which sell food service items in a no-frills warehouse format primarily to business customers.

Kenneth Tuchman, chairman of Smart & Final’s strategic review committee, said, “This transaction is the result of diligent analysis and thoughtful strategic deliberations by our board of directors over many months. Our board, with the assistance of independent financial and legal advisors, determined that this transaction, upon closing, will deliver immediate, significant and certain cash value to our stockholders.”

David Hirz, Smart & Final CEO, added, “This transaction is a testament to the strength of Smart & Final’s franchise, the quality of our store banners and the talent and expertise of our people. Under the ownership of the Apollo Funds, Smart & Final will benefit from Apollo’s strategic guidance, which will help us accelerate our existing strategy in a dynamic industry environment. We are excited about the future as we embark on a new chapter in our almost 150-year history, with a strategic partner that understands our strengths, culture and customer-centric philosophy.”