This will be the second time that Apollo will own Smart & Final, which operates 257 Smart & Final and Smart & Final Extra stores, as well as 67 Smart Foodservice stores, in Arizona, California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Utah and Washington. Apollo has sold Smart & Final to Ares Management Corp. in 2012 for $975 million. Ares took the retailer public in 2014.
“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,” Smart & Final chief executive officer David Hirz said in a statement. “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. We would like to thank Ares Management for its partnership and support in helping us grow our business to where we are today.”
The transaction is expected to close by the third quarter of 2019, assuming it meets closing conditions and wins the approval of shareholders and regulators. When the deal is complete, Smart & Final will be a privately held portfolio company of the Apollo Funds, and Smart & Final’s ordinary shares will no longer be listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
“We are very excited for our funds to be re-acquiring Smart & Final and expect to leverage Apollo’s deep expertise and history of success in food retail to support the Company as it embarks on its next chapter,” Andrew Jhawar, senior partner and head of the consumer and retail group at Apollo, said. “The unique differentiation and strong value proposition of both the Smart & Final and Smart Foodservice banners are evident to us and we welcome the opportunity to augment and enhance the experience for the company’s household and business customers.”